VANI was formed in the year 1988 with an objective to promote volunteerism and voluntary sector in India. Since then, using advocacy as its principle instrument to catalyze this change, VANI has taken up a series of advocacy initiatives at global, national, and state level. VANI has consistently raised its voice against those policies and practices that tend to degenerate the development sector in India. Being an apex body of voluntary organizations, VANI works as a catalyst between the Indian voluntary sector and other actors like central and state governments, bilateral and multilaterals. Besides the advocacy efforts, VANI actively engages in the process of reaching out to the media and the public to sensitize them on concerns related to the sector.
As a platform, it promotes voluntarism and creates space for voluntary action.
As a network, it attempts to bring about a convergence of common sectoral issues and concerns for building a truly National agenda of voluntary action in the country. It also facilitates linkages of various efforts and initiatives of the voluntary sector in the country for a multiplier effect, to create and sustain the process of change in an organic manner.