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66 Reviews
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January 22, 2014

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Review from Guidestar
January 22, 2014

I volunteered with Asha for Education last year participating in marathon program and raising a good amount of money for the organization. I was also fortunate enough to visit couple of programs run through the organization in India to see meaningful impact on ground level of my fundraising.

The best part of this organization is how well and efficiently it run by its volunteers. I would definitely recommend checking out the local chapter of this organization.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 5, 2011

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April 5, 2011

I recently joined Asha San Francisco Chapter and I am impressed with how the projects are run. Based on what I have witnessed, the group is very non-hierarchical, open and collaborative.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am a new volunteer.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

October 21, 2009

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October 21, 2009

"100% of your donations reach our projects" - This is what every Asha volunteer is proud about. During one of Asha UFlorida's annual cultural event - Praharsha we were selling we were selling food items. Chai was one of it, and was supposed to be very tasty. When one of the guest told a volunteer to have a sip as it was very tasty. The volunteer could have easily taken a cup full and no one would have made a fuss about it, but this is what he said "The money from the sale goes to our cause, unless i buy it i can not drink it." This is the dedication of each Asha volunteer.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the dedication of every volunteer

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Inspite of their busy schedule all volunteers try to work on any project that is they are requested to work for

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change life of many kids who can only dream of going to school

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 21, 2009

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October 21, 2009

Asha is a great organization. There are no overhead costs, the purpose of the organization is simple, straightforward, and effective, and we work with grass-roots programs that work within the community to bring about change. I am a steward for a project and have had a great experience working with a volunteer in India who is extending micro-finance loans to women in an impoverished area of India. At Asha, we make sure that the projects that receive our funds are legitimate and effective projects that really are seeking to bring education to the many underprivileged children in India. These programs not only provide these children with an education, but empower them with the knowledge and skills to find opportunities and escape poverty.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

people who were sincerely invested in the cause and very strong in their commitment to the programs.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

educate millions of children and give them the opportunity to escape poverty.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 21, 2009

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October 21, 2009

Big positives: 1) It has little or no overheads, so the funds raised can go completely to projects. 2) Since it is completely volunteer driven, volunteers are fully vested in the success of the organization, so overall effectiveness is high. 3) The organization management is "flat" (with no hierarchy), which makes it truly democratic, and gives every volunteer a strong voice. Negatives: 1) There is a constant problem of volunteer burnout, and few roles for long term volunteers to diversify into. 2) Fundraising capabilities remain limited, and therefore the impact of the organization is limited. 3) Constant turnover of volunteers results in a lot of loss of knowledge, and new volunteers keep "reinventing the wheel"

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The volunteers in Asha are what make it a fantastic organization. They are really committed to their work, and very dedicated to making a difference. Volunteers come from diverse backgrounds, and have different ideologies, but come together here.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make a massive difference to underprivileged children in India.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 21, 2009

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October 21, 2009

I started volunteering with Asha as an undergrad at Berkeley. I haven't been able to keep up since graduating, but I hope to get back soon. Volunteering with Asha was both fun and satisfying.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic and committed

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

I really like Asha. I just joined the UC Berkeley chapter this year and although I don't know much about it yet, the projects that Asha supports sound really awesome.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how open to suggestions everyone in the organization is

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

I have been a volunteer with this organization for more than 6 years now. I have enjoyed volunteering for Asha and find it amazing that a group of individuals with a common set of goals and beliefs can come together in this way and support education related and other causes in India. It has been very gratifying to see that the volunteering effort is paid off in terms of better education opportunities for young children who would other wise not have any access to even elementary education.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

visiting a couple of projects that are currently supported in India. I've seen first hand how the efforts of 100s of volunteers in teh US and elsewhere have produced tangible results in several parts of the country.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have the various chapters work more closely with each other to better organize their support and other campaigns.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

its volunteering spirit and its flat structure.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

great people with down to earth attitude and helpful nature. Driven with a passion to serve, they volunteer their time and energy to support the organizations' cause.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

use it wisely to increase the opportunities for all children everywhere it serves and also implement its programs for improving the quality of education imparted itself.

Ways to make it better...

there was less 're-inventing the wheel'. Due to a churn in the volunteers and lack of organization memory, the wheel is invented again and again and leads to a loss of precious time of the volunteers.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of organizational memory and a good transition plan for several teams that work on a daily basis.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Inspite of its few shortcomings,it has supported >300 organizations over 18 years while maintaining a flat structure and unpaid volunteers. I think it is quite commendable and contrasts with other organizations with huge admin expense on their books.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

I have found Asha for Education to be a very strong volunteer organization. In working with the Berkeley chapter, the organization has been a a way to unite both Indians, who want to be more involved with improving the country of their heritage, as well as non-Indians, who are looking to get involved in grassroots development. Our chapter is based on the collaboration of undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals. Because Asha for Education is a flat, non-hierarchical organization, everyone has a equal voice and thus, all our decisions are based on a wide range of perspectives. Asha for Education goes through an involved vetting process to ensure that the money we raise goes to well-deserved grassroots organizations in India that have the greatest potential to enact change in their communities through education. We require that our partner organizations in India give regular updates on the status of their schools and institutions so we know exactly how are money is being spent and what impact it is having. I have personally been deeply involved with the planning of our annual culture show fundraiser, Images of India, which is now on its 19th year. While putting on this event, I have seen the loyal following of the show's regular attendees and witnessed how Asha for Education has become deeply entrenched in both Indian and non-Indian communities in the Bay Area. Even in these times of economic troubles, we still have a group of supporters who regularly donate to our chapter, recognizing the need to maintain international development and realizing that Asha for Education is one of the best ways to channel their donations to this effort. Asha for Education as a whole also finds innovative ways to fundraise, such as the Work an Hour campaign, which is an online fundraiser that asks people to symbolically donate an hour of their time to help underprivileged children in India by simply giving an hour's worth of their wages or salary. Using this simple premise, in 2009, this campaign was able to raise over $100,000 in just two months. Asha for Education is entirely volunteer based, and every one of our volunteers cares deeply for this cause. We are a zero-overhead organization, which means that all the operational costs are borne by the volunteers and 100% of the money we raise goes directly to our projects and the children who need it most. As such, if you're interested stimulating socioeconomic change in India, Asha for Education is one of the most worthy organizations to work with.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that I can look at Asha projects in India, see pictures, and hear anecdotes that all attest to how the money we have given them has improved the lives of the students in those schools.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

deeply committed to this cause and willing to put in hours of work to put on fundraisers, research potential projects to fund, communicate with grassroots organizations in India to find the best way to spread education to disadvantaged children

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

I joined this organization as an undergraduate and it was so inspiring to work for such a great cause that I would prioritize doing Asha related work over school work. It is a very satisfying experience to be able to do something/anything to help children gain an education. The most difficult part is deciding which organizations/schools to help keeping in mind our limited funds. All the volunteers I have interacted with are very helpful and super dedicated to the cause. It is like a small family working towards a common goal. Sometimes we have intense discussions on topics but that is only because everyone cares deeply about it. I have never felt like I cannot express my thoughts/opinions with this group of people. They are open to fresh ideas and thoughts. Even though the issue we are working towards is very close to the heart for most of us, we try to make rational decisions about what is important for the children. What is even more inspiring is when you see the feedback from the children, how they are elated at having this opportunity to go to school rather than taking it for granted. It is a very humbling experience to work with this organization.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

what it has taught me: need for hope, education, and dedication.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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