If you’re looking to amplify your impact as you contribute to social good, start by considering which activities you’re engaging in. The truth is that civic engagement comes in many forms, and by combining various types of efforts, you can make your impact exponential rather than linear.
Points of Light’s Civic Circle® is a framework that helps guide individuals to live full civic lives by demonstrating nine different ways to get involved in causes they care about. Today, we’ll cover three of these avenues so you can consider how you might combine them to magnify your efforts and make your impact stretch that much further.
Of course, when many people think of civic engagement, they think of lending their time and talent through volunteerism. And for good reason – nonprofit organizations and NGO’s thrive on the collective power of their volunteers. Volunteers enable these organizations to do the best work they can with the resources they’ve been allotted.
It’s a good idea to think through your volunteer activities to ensure they align with your passions, capabilities and schedule. Whether you volunteer once a month for a few hours, a few times a year with a corporate team or every weekend, you are making a difference in the world!
See how Daily Point of Light Award honoree Dallas Smith lends his time and talents as a volunteer pharmacist in his community.
When you donate to a cause or organization you care about, you allow for your dollars or goods to be put to the best use possible to benefit others. Donating allows organizations to continue their mission and spread awareness about a cause area. Donations can also directly benefit recipients – as in the case of a natural disaster.
Be aware that donating is only helpful if the donations – monetary or in-kind – are truly what the organization needs. Unwanted or unneeded donations are often trashed, contributing to waste. So be sure to do your research and ask for what donations are most helpful before you donate!
See how Daily Point of Light Award honoree Sofia Petito collects and makes use of donations in her community.
Using Your Voice
Everyone has the ability to use their voice to elevate the causes they care about. Whether you’re sharing information via social media, talking to friends or family members about a specific issue, or marching in a peaceful protest, you can use your voice – which includes your own opinions, perspectives and concerns – as well as contributing to a collective voice rallying around a cause area.
Combining your voice with other types of civic engagement can be a powerful way to make your mission and message louder, clearer or more accessible to others. That said, be mindful that you don’t use the element of voice for performative activism, but rather that you “walk the walk” along with “talking the talk”!
See how Daily Point of Light Award honoree Tristan Espinoza is amplifying the voices of indigenous peoples.