Hi Cambio Readers! Last week I introduced myself and shared with you the inspiration and goals of my non-profit program, WeStopHate.org. My hope is that after learning about my story, you felt inspired to turn your personal experiences into something positive, too, which is why this week I will be sharing some of the things that I have learned from running WeStopHate.org.
1. Find your passion. There are so many things you can do to make a difference and it's up to you to figure out what exactly you want to change! Spend some time on Google or DoSomething.org learning about different causes. You are bound to find something that pulls on your heart strings and makes you think, "I can't just sit here, I need to take action!"
2. Start small. It sounds simple, but sometimes the obvious things are the easiest to overlook! Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your pro-social initiative. By beginning with striving for small goals, you'll gain confidence in your abilities and feel empowered to take on larger and larger challenges down the road.
3. Focus on goals. We all want to change the world, but setting your sights on a single goal and then focusing your energy on achieving it is the best way to make an impact. Plus the feeling of knowing you reached your goal makes all the setbacks along the way totally worth it.
4. Build a team. My mom always told me many hands make light work and while I don't always agree with her, she was definitely right about that! Take the time to recruit volunteers who care about the cause you're passionate about and figure out what their strengths are. By working with a team, you will be able to expand much more easily and doing service with others is half the fun!
5. Find a mentor. When you meet someone who you aspire to be like, tell them! Ask them for advice and guidance when you're stuck. The beginning of a non-profit is always rough, so having someone to go to will take some of the initial stress away.
6. Use social media. Telling as many people about the awesome work that you're doing will help build support and funding for your project. When something cool happens, make sure to tweet pictures and update your project's Facebook fan page with the details!
7. Don't be afraid to fail. If you only knew how many times I've failed along the way! Failing is a really important part of building any successful initiative because failing teaches you what doesn't work – and that gets you closer to what does! Never forget that you're trying to make a positive change and no one is going to think negatively about you if something you try doesn't work out. More than likely they are going to be impressed – and inspired – because you went for it!