Monday, April 30, 2012

12 Most Genuine Ways to Support a Cause

Everywhere I look around I find many individuals and enterprises embarking on numerous initiatives aligned to specific causes – Causes related to improved education, affordable healthcare, better employee ability, betterment of animal welfare, eradication of poverty, affordable energy, a green earth, better policies, administration, governance, job creation, equitable wealth distribution, etc. etc. etc.

And there are many ways in which you can genuinely support one / many causes. In this blog, I have articulated the 12 Most Genuine ways in which you can support a cause:

1. By educating yourself

The first thing that you can do is to make an attempt to learn (in theory) about the cause. Basic things like what the cause is about, what individuals or groups aim to achieve from the cause, the kind of efforts being rallied, the kind of impact, the scale of impact, the kind of actions that are elicited to show support for the cause and the time horizon in consideration.

2. By creating awareness

Once you have the required knowledge, you can generate awareness by educating others in your sphere of influence. It could be through formal or informal communication channels. For example: You can inform people during a discussion, over mail, as a FaceBook update / status, as a tweet, on your blog, etc.

3. By doing your bit in favor of the cause and its many manifestations

Whatever be the cause, you can always find a way to do a little bit as a part of your everyday life – as and when you get an opportunity and within your sphere of influence. For example.: You can personally do your bit to optimize your water consumption and power utilization to contribute towards a Green Earth

4. By providing financial assistance

One of the requirements of any cause is the perpetual requirement of funds. And if you do have financial resources, you can always support a cause that you believe in

5. By not objecting / unnecessarily interfering with those supporting a cause

One of the best favors you can extend towards a cause is to not object or unnecessarily interfere with others who are genuinely working on a cause. Not only do these kinds of interventions slow the progress but they also tend to create a negative working environment which impedes advancement

6. By providing ideas / suggestions / inputs / feedback / recommendations

One of the best ways you can extend support towards a cause is to provide ideas / suggestions / inputs / feedback / recommendations to people working on a cause. This is important because at some point in the life cycle of a cause, people get very involved in the specific cause and are unable to view things with a new lens. So fresh perspectives in one or many forms are always welcome by those championing a cause

7. By motivating those who believe in the cause

Motivation is a vital fuel required to keep trudging ahead for any cause. And the reality is that there will be times when there are several roadblocks and challenges in the life cycle of a cause. At these times, a little motivation acts as the catalyst in crossing the chasm and helps move ahead with renewed spirit and optimism.

8. By making things easy for those working passionately towards a cause

You can actually support a cause by making things easy for those who are working on the cause (in whatever way you can and in whatever way they need!) This can simply translate into making day-to-day things easy for them so that they can focus their time, efforts and energies towards a larger cause.

9. By actively supporting the cause

Of course, you can actively support a cause by being a volunteer or by making meaningful contributions in ways that will make a difference. Obviously the pre-requisite here is that you have the required knowledge on what needs to be done.

10.By endorsing the cause

If you have the required power and authority to endorse a cause, then one of the most genuine ways you can support it is to provide the required approvals after adequate due diligence

11. By rallying support towards the cause

Again, a very important aspect in which the power of your personal networks and relationships go a long way. For example.: If you know someone who is interested in being a volunteer for some community work and you are informed about the need for volunteers in a specific area, you can connect the two OR If two of your contacts are working on causes related to empowerment of youth, one of the best service you can render towards the cause is to connect both of them to explore synergies on how they can collaborate towards a larger good

12. By just being there

Lastly, sometimes all you need to do is just be there – Sometimes as a silent spectator, sometimes as an observer, sometimes as a friend, sometimes as a philosopher, sometimes as a guide, sometimes as a mentor, sometimes as a confidant, sometimes as a sounding board, sometimes as a critic, sometimes with an acknowledgement of efforts (irrespective of the fruits they bear), sometimes with appreciation and praise, and sometimes as just another human being.

How do you most prefer to support causes you care about?

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