What I do at Greenpeace:
I work as a Middle Donor Manager in the Fund Raising Department. The Middle Donor Program is now 3 years old and was started with an intent to create a specific pool of supporters who can contribute more than our regular donors not only in terms of money but also in terms of resources and expertise, that can have significant impact and value addition for the organisation in the long run.
I am managing a team of two members. Our job involves calling our existing supporters on a daily basis and meeting them to explain the Middle Donor Program and solicit funds for our campaigns. The role also involves working on Fund Raising Events once a while and interacting with Foundations and Trusts for Funds.
The job may seem repetitive in nature, but we see every day as a new day because every day we talk to a new person, meet a new person and learn something new from each and every one of them. Apart from this we are also constantly looking out for opportunities where we can test new initiatives, implement new ideas and share Greenpeace's visions to as many people as possible in greater detail and most important of all raise as much funds as possible to support campaigners in their work.
Life before Greenpeace:
After finishing my MBA I worked in the corporate sector for two years. My experience includes, working in IT sector, FMCG, Consumer Durables and Handicrafts. Like most people fresh after earning a professional degree I too had high hopes and aspirations, I wanted to learn the tricks of the trade and grow as high and as fast as possible in the hierarchy.
However, with every passing day I felt as if I needed to work on something which I am more connected to, where my contribution can touch the lives of many in a positive way, where I don't have to progress by stepping over someone's shoulders, where I stretch myself to the maximum limit by choice and not by force. Most important of all I wanted to like the work I do and gain more knowledge not because that's the only choice available or because of a constant fear of any kind.
I joined Greenpeace in 2005 April, if Greenpeace hadn't happened I would still have carried on with life and have gotten somewhere, but today the only thing I would like to say here is I am glad it happened.
My most memorable experience at Greenpeace, yet:
In 6 years of my working with Greenpeace, there are a number of memorable experiences- Working with Amala, our Board Member, on one project; working with Shabana ji and the entire crew of Kaifi Aur Main; working on various high priority campaign and organisation projects; being witness to some outstanding victories achieved by the campaign team of Greenpeace India, are just a few to list out.
However, one of my most memorable experiences at Greenpeace is an incident which happened 5 and a half years ago when I was a frontline fundraiser at the Kolkata office. As a frontline fund raiser, I used to stand on the street with my group and approach people who passed by with a request to hear us out and support the work Greenpeace does through their donations. One day I had approached a lady with the same request; she stood and heard my presentation. During our discussion she informed me that she was into farming and had her own land somewhere out of Kolkata. She was in the city to make some urgent payments in connection with her farmland. At the end of our discussion, she agreed to support Greenpeace through her donation, but as she was not from Kolkata I was not able to accept her donation through ECS like we usually do. The only option left was to collect her donation through Cheque or DD. She informed me then that she stayed in a very remote area and rarely comes to the city for work and that day she had got only a single leaf of cheque with her which she had brought for her work.
I then told her that it was ok and maybe some other day she can send her donation if she is comfortable with it. She then thought for a moment and gave the cheque she had brought for her personal work to Greenpeace. Knowing she had come for urgent work, I requested her to send us a donation later and get her work done first. She said- I can still manage my work, this fund is more important for you guys because if you fail, then I along with many people like me will lose years of effort we have put in for following a sustainable form of agriculture. She handed me the cheque and then left.
I couldn't meet her again after that day, but that was the day when I realised that so many people across the country are probably looking up to us or hoping that some miracle will ensure things go in the right direction, not to mention many would probably not even be aware of the kind of risk/danger they may be in. Since that day my resolve to support our campaigners in the work they do grew even more stronger.
And as our campaigners continue to provide us with victories like moratorium on Bt Brinjal, sending back of Clemenceau, draft law on e-waste and achieve landmarks like Gopi (Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner) getting formally inducted into the planning commissions working group on Natural resource Management and Rain fed farming, who will create the plan document for the next five year plan of Govt of India, I hope that I can continue to support them in all possible way.