How can NGOs Engage With Citizens In Urban India

One of the primary goals for a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is raising funds. This is a pretty simple concept - it's one person asking another to get involved, take a stand, provide monetary help, and join the movement. 

However, several organisations are working in this sector and making your NGO’s mission stand out is crucial. One such way to do that is by engaging the urban citizens in community projects. This empowers citizens to take action and improve the quality of life for others. It also gives them a sense of ownership and encourages them to provide support in the future. 


Here are five strategies you can implement, as an NGO, to engage with urban citizens. 


1. Social media engagement 

The majority of any NGO's target audience is on social media. However, people will volunteer for organisations that they are aware of and trust. So, investing in promotional materials such as social media advertisements and campaigns is necessary to reach the younger generation. 

Storytelling through social media is also a great way to engage with citizens. By sharing articles, photos, videos or podcasts of on-ground activities, you can help the audience to relate to your NGO’s mission. 

The more they connect with the cause, the more likely they are to participate in volunteering activities or provide support. 


2. Conduct volunteering programs



The participation of citizens in community activities contributes to the success of a project. Involving citizens in such a program will also allow the organisation to conduct activities that otherwise they would not have the financial resources to carry out. 

By participating in such activities, urban citizens learn more about ground-level problems. This enables them to take action, raise funds, and improve the livelihood of their communities. 

When a large group of citizens work on a project, the recognition for the mission and the NGO also increases. This raises the chances of being recognised by local governing bodies that can provide support. 


3. Offering leadership roles 

Apart from asking citizens to volunteers, NGOs could also appoint them in leadership roles. They could be appointed as a regional head for a particular area or given a position in the governing committee. 

This increases their sense of responsibility and ownership towards the NGO. They will be more prompt towards volunteering activities and keen on bringing in more people to generate a larger impact. 



4. Rewarding volunteers 

Depending on a previous volunteer’s experience of your program, the more likely they are to recommend it to their peers. It is important to not only give them a smooth experience while volunteering with your NGO but also after the program is completed. 

Rewarding volunteers or recognising their efforts with certificates is important to boost their morale. Receiving acknowledgement for the work done will further increase the chances of volunteers recommending the program to others.


5. Engaging with previous volunteers 

Fundraising is a long-term endeavour and NGOs cannot achieve success overnight. It takes time to reach out to a group of donors and convince them about your mission. However, once you have engaged citizens with your programs, it is important to follow up with them. 

You can do this by collecting their email addresses and sharing monthly or weekly newsletters. Here, you can provide them updates about current events, upcoming events, or volunteering programs. 

Since they are already aware of the organisation and have participated in volunteering activities, they will be interested to know more. Even if it does not interest them, they may share it with someone who finds it relevant. 


Roshini Muthukumar

Roshini Muthukumar, a native of Chennai, started her career as a content writer but made a switch to journalism to pursue her passion. She has experience writing about human interest stories, innovative technology, entrepreneurs, research blogs, and more. Previously, Roshini has done internships with The Hindu, Metroplus and worked as a correspondent with The Better India.