Most of us say we intend to be more charitable, but we often struggle to find the time, money, or energy to get involved. However,getting started with supporting charitable causes doesn’t have to mean a lot of work.
Use smart goal setting to come up with a plan and pick one of the following routes to become involved with good causes.
Boost the Signal
Causes need visibility to gain traction and make a difference. Boost the signal of causes you care about by following their progress on social media and in newsletters, and sharing or commenting on them in your social circles. That could range from very casual social media support to more proactive efforts like launching conversations, signing petitions, writing letters, joining marches, and active lobbying or protesting, depending on the cause and your level of interest and ability to help.
Integrate Your Life
Another way to get involved is to change your patterns or habits to include causes you care about. You might go out of your way to recycle more or retrofit your living space with more eco-friendly materials and technologies, grow some of your food or intentionally shop local, pay more to ethical product makers, or schedule time to spend engaging with causes personally. Again, the level of commitment varies, from small changes in purchasing or behaviour to significant lifestyle alterations.
Put Yourself to Work
Volunteering is just as good for you as it is for those in need. It contributes to a sense of community and purpose and has been shown to create significant positive mental and physical health outcomes for volunteers. Look for a cause that resonates with you; it might be local or remote, recent or ongoing, environmental or social, or something else entirely. Consider your commitment level, skills, and availability, and get in touch with volunteer coordinators to discuss how you could get involved. Pick something you care about personally or feel like you can make a meaningful contribution to. For some, that might be heading to a school to read with children,organising contributions at a food bank, or spending time with challenged teens. For others, it might mean international travel, offering specialist skills, or extended time commitments.
Just Hit Donate
Many causes are limited in what they can do by funding shortfalls. A financial contribution is a functional way to contribute on its own, or in addition to a more interactive involvement. Some causes, because of location, privacy, or other constraints, can only accept financial donations and don’t have volunteer positions or other ways to contribute available.
Bring Some Friends
This may be an extension of boosting the signal, integrating your life, or putting yourself to work as a volunteer, but an excellent way to get involved with good causes is to make it a social experience with your network. Bring friends, family, or co-workers into the experience to make even more of a difference.
There are countless excellent causes to get involved with. You’ll want to think about what priorities you want to invest in, what populations you most want to help, and what type of contribution you have to offer.
Help for Heroes makes a difference for military service personnel, particularly in the recovery of those who have been wounded in action, those with mental health challenges,or those that have been injured in some other way during active service. The organisation also gives them a funded opportunity to gain new skills as they transition to civilian careers. At the same time, it helps disadvantaged young people, creating a positive network effect. This is a good option for those who care about improving outcomes for veterans and teens.
Ronald McDonald House Charities makes a difference for sick kids and their families by funding spaces for them to stay together during treatment. Its programs include residential spaces, in-hospital family rooms, and mobile units. That is an excellent option for those who care about children and families with health-related challenges.
Environmental Defense Fund is a little different. It focuses on sustainability and better environmental policy by influencing legislation and working with corporations to improve their practices. The cause is suitable for those who care about big-picture problems and want to work for good on a social or global scale.
There’s a vast array of options when it comes to getting involved with good causes. You might care a lot about children, teens, or seniors. You might want to help those with health issues,families living in poverty, or victims of natural disasters. You might be concerned about social, economic, environmental, or other large-scale issues. Your skills or type of contribution might be more suited towards active involvement in volunteering or raising awareness, or financial donations.
Get started today with a plan to match your interests and abilities with the right cause for you.