Everyone has causes they believe in that they want to see addressed in their community or on the national stage. There are a number of issues that regularly cause people in communities to rally together, including social justice, environmental awareness, human rights, and even social connections for older adults. If you have something you believe in, you can take action to raise awareness about the issues that matter to you.
Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering is a form of civic engagement that builds and strengthens community connections. Volunteering provides a sense of belonging and satisfaction that provides positive benefits for your health, including reducing social isolation.
One way to help your voice to be heard is to join advocacy groups in your community. These groups promote a variety of social, economic, and lifestyle causes and are in direct conversation with the leaders who make decisions in your community. Additionally, these groups don’t need to be political; they work to promote the issues that affect regular citizens. For example, if you’re good with numbers, budgeting and saving money, why not share your abilities with a local financial literacy group? You can help people learn how to better manage their finances, paving the way for a future home purchase or business launch. Or help an older adult by sharing your accounting expertise and assiting with tax returns through a Shepherd’s Center.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube can help you reach a large audience and connect with others who share your passion. One way you can utilize social media effectively for advocacy is by creating a separate and professional profile from your personal social media accounts. Follow and connect with large organizations, including policymakers, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other advocacy groups, to stay informed about the issues you care about. Social media can also be a great place to learn about events and other ways you can take action in your community or on the national stage.
Keep Connected with Your Community
Sometimes the best way to see tangible change in your life is to keep connected with your local government officials and community organizations. You can start important conversations locally by calling your representative in Congress and keeping in touch with your city council. Connecting with local groups and officials is a practical way of gathering support for issues that affect your community.
Start a Nonprofit to Support Your Cause
Starting a nonprofit organization is a great way to get started promoting causes you believe in. As a nonprofit, you’ll find it easier to obtain grants and public funding to support your efforts to help others. Be sure to create bylaws that govern how your nonprofit operates. Determine how your organization holds meetings, votes on issues, and resolves conflicts within the group to get off to a good start. If you want to start a Shepherd’s Center in your community, the national office is available is to help.
Keeping Track of Finances
When you start a nonprofit organization, it’s important to use accounting software to keep track of finances. The best practices for accounting allow you to easily keep track of donations, invoicing, and bookkeeping. Good nonprofit accounting software options should also make it easy to categorize your expenditures by the program or fund they’re used for as well as allow you to create custom reports detailing your expenditures.
Getting Involved in Your Cause
With just a little organization and collaboration, you can start raising awareness about the things that matter most to you. Whether you work with advocacy groups, start your own nonprofit, make overtures to your state representative or all of the above, you can feel confident you’re taking a stand for what matters most to you.
Shepherd’s Centers of America strives to change the narrative about positive aging in the United States. You can learn more about our organization, as well as how you can get involved or donate, by visiting our website.
By Kelsey Taylor