Many people believe that supporting activist groups is a lot of hard work, or that you shouldn't even bother if you can't do "enough." While it's true that setting up an activist group and organizing special events can be taxing, being an activist isn't an all-or-nothing concept. Being an activist means supporting a cause that is important to you, even if you can't devote all your spare time to it. As long as you are devoting some of your time and energy to a cause and raising awareness for it, you're an activist. With that being said, here are just five ways that you can support activist groups near you.
1. Stay Informed About Groups Near You
The first thing that you can do if you want to be an activist is to educate yourself about the causes around you. No matter what you support, there is bound to be something in your area. Almost all of them will have a web presence, so you should be able to find many of them with a Google search. Otherwise, you can find a good list of causes and organizations on sites such as My Civic Workout.
2. Support Groups Online
If it turns out that there are no groups nearby that support causes that are important to you, you can always support other groups online. Check out their website and see if they have a Facebook page that you can follow or a group you can join. If they do, follow them and share relevant information that they post. It's the only way that many organizations can grow on social media, especially if they're smaller grassroots groups.
Even if an activist group doesn't have a social media presence, they will likely have an email newsletter or a blog that will keep their members and followers informed of important updates. These newsletters and blogs will likely include suggestions on how you can get more involved in their group's cause, so keep an eye out for them. At the very least, you can still share information about your group of choice on your own social media. It may not seem like much, but anything you can do to raise awareness for a cause is still helpful.
3. Advertise in Other Ways
When we think about advertising for a group or cause in the 21st Century, what immediately comes to mind is posting on social media. As effective as that can be, it's far from the only way to spread the word about important causes. There are print media, television, and radio advertisements. You're probably not going to be creating your own TV or radio ad for your favorite activist group, but you can still advertise in other ways. If a group has a physical headquarters, visit them and see if you can volunteer to hand out flyers or brochures. If activist clothing brands are selling clothes such as t-shirts, hats, or jackets, buy some and wear them around. Not only does your purchase help the group financially, but it effectively turns you into a walking billboard for their cause. Again, anything that can raise awareness is worthwhile.
Buying apparel and other merchandise is a great way to support an activist group, but you can also donate money without making a purchase. Many of these organizations are non-profit grassroots affairs, so they can use all of the financial assistance they can get. You don't need to make a large donation, either. Even a few dollars will help.
5. Volunteer Your Time
As you follow activist groups on social media and spread the word about what they stand for, you'll likely hear about opportunities to volunteer your time to help them. They might need people to help with fundraisers, organized protests, and other events. Even if these opportunities aren't advertised in newsletters and social media, they are almost certainly out there, so don't hesitate to send an email or stop by the physical headquarters of your favorite activist group. You might be surprised at the volunteer opportunities they have.
Being an activist may seem like hard work for some people, but that doesn't have to be the case. Anything that you can do to support a good cause will be helpful, so find out how you can help an organization that is important to you. Even if it doesn't seem like much to you, it will mean a lot to them.