You want to make a change. Something is happening around you that you want to improve, not just for you, but for your entire community. No matter the specifics of the situation, you want to spread the word about a cause you believe in. Good news: There are plenty of ways you can get involved, no matter the amount of time or resources you have to give.
1. STUDY UP.
The first step before educating others is educating yourself. Read up on what’s happening at the moment using reputable news sources. And also be sure to get acquainted with the history of the issue. What strategies have been tried before, and what can you learn from them? With some issues, understanding both sides’ viewpoints will help you form a much more effective and convincing argument.
2. JOIN IN.
Is there a local or national group already working on spreading the word of your cause? Team up with them! Go to their website and look for volunteer instructions. Donating just a few hours of your time a month can make a big difference; donating multiple hours a week can make a huge difference.
3. LEARN HOW TO ORGANIZE.
If there isn’t already a group working on behalf of the matter—or if you have a unique perspective and see the need for another organization that can come at the problem from a different angle—consider starting one yourself. Look for a community organizing bootcamp in your area or hone in on a virtual course you can take online. Plenty of ground has already been covered in the activism sector; learn from those who have already embarked on the path.
4. FIND LIKE MINDS.
You may not feel comfortable positioning yourself as a leader of a movement. That’s OK! Talk to the people around you about what you’re passionate about, and you’re likely to find someone who feels similarly. Once you have a partner, you have someone to hold you accountable—and someone who brings other skills to the table that can be complementary to your own.
5. USE THE CHANNELS YOU ALREADY HAVE.
If you have a social media presence, you have a platform. Share the content you believe in and create your own. The more measured and informed you are, the more likely others are to listen to you—and to share your message with their social media followers.
And spread the word! Let others know you have donated and where; it may inspire them to do the same. Need another reason? Research has shown that making charitable donations increases your happiness.
7. CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES.
There are people whose job it is to listen to you and act on your concerns. These are your elected government officials. And guess what? They do care about what their constituents think; they have to get reelected, after all. Their contact information is also public. Research to find any number of websites that list the names of your representatives and their contact info. And give yourself a break: If you’re not a “phone person,” expect the first call to be awkward. But know that that doesn’t matter—and the next time you call, you’ll be much more comfortable.