So you want to make a difference but you don’t know where to start.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Most of us know that we care about helping other people but we just have no idea where to start.
Besides, problems like child trafficking, water scarcity, illiteracy, violence, HIV, etc. can seem so daunting that it feels overwhelming to even try to make a difference.
When I first decided that I wanted to help orphans, I spent a lot of time feeling frustrated.
I didn’t want to just
buy sponsor a child, I wanted to be able to help in my own unique way.
I wanted opportunities to help orphans in a way that allowed me to use my communication skills and indulge my love for travel. Which leads us to step 1.
Step 1. Aim for Enjoyment
You’re not trying to make a difference because you want to impress other people right? Cool.
What this means is that making a difference is going to be a thankless job for you so you might as well have fun doing it.
So ask yourself: “what do I enjoy? What am I good at? “
For me, the answers to these questions weren’t too far off. I LOVE to travel and I’ve known this since before I owned a bank account. I also have very strong communication skills (just ask my brothers and sister).
Once you know the answers to these questions, move on to step 2.
Step 2. Leech on Existing Non-Profits
It would be nice for you to be the President, Founder, CEO, etc. etc. of the next Charity Water.
It sounds nice and it makes you look prestigious. But here’s the thing: the world does not need yet another non-profit.
What the world needs is people that are willing to support existing non-profits or people with the chops to create true social businesses.
How did I find them? Through a Google search.
If you’d rather use a more sophisticated method, here’s a list of top non profits.
If there is a non-profit or social business that is making a difference in an area you care about, offer to support them (instead of starting your own thing).
When you find them, don’t be shy to suggest ways that you can use your skills and preferences for their benefit. If this doesn’t work (or it sounds like too much work), do Step 3.
Step 3. Start Conversations
This is the simplest one of all. Just talk.
Start conversations with your friends, in the airport, on the bus.
If that makes you feel uncomfortable, start a blog and talk there.
Use your voice to engage people and never underestimate the power of your words.
When I felt frustrated with the issues in Nigeria, it seemed that all I had was my voice. So I used it. A lot of people criticized me, saying talk is cheap but they were wrong.
My talking in that blog post resulted into job offers, interviews, documentaries, and an email from a television station. It resulted into people changing their career paths and making decisions to relocate to Nigeria.
If you have a voice, you have the power to make a difference.
So if all you can do is talk, then talk. Or start a blog and talk there.
After all it’s the 21st century and there’s nothing weird about sharing details of your life with perfect strangers on the internet.