Being an activist or standing up for a cause we care about doesn't mean being committed to fighting every issue that comes our way. Whether it's animal rights, human rights or just the right to wear casual wear to work on Fridays, it's best to choose our cause, then dedicate time to it. Trying to get involved with each and every cause that pops up in our Facebook feed, email inbox, or in conversation might just lead to nothing being done at all.
Regardless of whether we want to make a difference in our local community or want to help save the marine life in our hometown, if the passion is there, it's worth getting involved. Take a look at work, school, sport and town community groups and committees and see how to get involved and have your voice heard.
Sure, we shared our no-makeup selfie last month to show support for cancer research and we even posted the "I Touch Myself" breast cancer video on our Facebook feeds, but was that really enough? While these social media awareness campaigns are great initiatives, it's important that we continue to show our support for them long after all the hype has gone.
According to a recent survey conducted by YouGov, one in seven people think that liking an organisation on Facebook is as good as donating money. Development agency, UNICEF Sweden, says it's not and they'd like to see fewer likes on Facebook and more donations.
"We like likes, and social media could be a good first step to get involved, but it cannot stop there," explained UNICEF Sweden Director of Communications, Petra Hallebrant. "Likes don't save children's lives. We need money to buy vaccines for instance."
One of UNICEF's most recent ad campaigns hit us hard with their message.
It read: "Like us on Facebook, and we will vaccinate zero children against polio."
So, what can we do to make a lasting impact on these important causes that need our support and our donations? Here are five ideas:
Take part in an event, like a charity fun run or Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, to not only raise awareness, but to raise much-needed funding, too.
Organise a fundraiser that friends, family and workmates are likely to get involved in. Spread the word, ask people to make a donation and then share that money with a cause that needs financial support.
Combine a yearning to make a difference with everyday life by getting the family involved where possible. With the time we invest in family, work, partners and friendships, free time outside of that can appear to be small, but combine them with your charitable cause and you'll manage to have time for each.
Lobbying for change doesn't have to be on a grand scale. Small changes can happen anywhere in your community. Look out for areas you feel would benefit from your voice and your point of view and stand up for them where you can.
Don't stop signing petitions because you think you're not doing enough. If it's a cause you feel strongly about, make sure you sign the petitions and share them for maximum impact and find out what else you can do to really make a difference.
What tips and ideas do you have for someone looking to go from slacktivist to activist? Share your tips and ideas with us in the comments below.
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