From the Diary of a Fundraiser

They say, fill your life with experiences and not things, have stories to tell not stuff to show. Being part of an organisation like Direct Dialogue Initiatives and Greenpeace India from a young age, I have treasured stories and experiences of all kinds and colours. My experiences with these two organisations have been split into two tenures. 

The first time, with a friend’s reference, I joined Greenpeace India as a Fundraiser in June 2012. This was right after my SSLC exams, which made me the youngest face-to-face fundraiser at the time. I continued my senior secondary high school diploma alongside my work. Being an enthusiastic and passionate teenager, I wanted to explore life beyond books and lectures. Representing an NGO such as Greenpeace India gave me that opportunity.

However, initially, the journey was not easy. I had to approach people from different walks of life. My job was about creating a bond of trust and faith with them. Initially, I had trouble, as it seemed as if I couldn’t convince anyone to come forward and support our environmental cause. For the first few weeks, I tried to figure out what the problem was. I knew I was young and inexperienced and lacked proper communication skills. Back then, my communication skills were quite hostile.

I started observing my teammates and learning from them. I started learning about the campaigns proactively and comprehended every chunk of what I learned. This helped me in creating the content for my presentations, which indeed turned out to be quite effective. Since then, there has been no looking back. Not only did I ace my campaign knowledge tests but have been consistently on the performers’ list ever since then. I still remember how I was invited to the stage and got appreciated after I had achieved a target of 33 signups in July 2012.

In January 2013, I led my team for the first time as an acting Group Coordinator. And then in a month, I became a confirmed Group Coordinator. The role came with its challenges. Initially, I had trouble synchronizing the thoughts of my teammates and encouraging them to achieve their best potential and efficiency. After some initial hiccups, I was successful in running the team smoothly with some occasional problems.

In 2016, I became the Senior Group Coordinator. This time, I felt stronger and was eager to fulfil my duties in this new role. I remember bringing up the numbers from 16 to 20 sign-ups a month to 158 sign-ups in a month, which was an extraordinary achievement. I was also part of the newest campaign where we conducted activities at various Clubs and parks about composting. 

In 2018, I decided to take a break from my work to refresh my mindset and explore the world. 

The gap period was full of new and enlightening experiences, such as starting my soap ventures, which eventually couldn’t sustain the blow of the pandemic. 

Finally, in February 2021 I felt ready to join Direct Dialogue Initiatives (which supports Greenpeace India’s fundraising requirements), after gaining a brand-new perspective and a plethora of valuable experiences and stories. It was a delightful beginning as I joined the Kochi office. I learnt about the culture of Kochi, which added to the treasury of my experiences. Later, I was transferred to the Bengaluru office. This move has been a turning point in my journey as a Senior Group Coordinator as it brought another world of opportunities and stories. 

Working at Direct Dialogue Initiatives is more than just a job. It has nurtured and strengthened me. And it has given me the thrill of life. Looking back a lot has changed but one thing that hasn’t is my passion and enthusiasm for the work. 

Bhanothu Lakhpathi,

Senior Group Coordinator, Bangalore