Giving back to your community can be a very rewarding experience. Though there are many ways to get involved, you can also create your own successful community service project. When doing so, you can customize it to your own interests and make it your own. Here’s a step-by-step on how to get started:
Find Your Why
Why start your own charity project? Why not volunteer with one that has already been established? Beginning your own charity service project requires leadership skills, initiative and passion. Ask your friends or your family what they feel the community needs.To find your why, engage with the community. If there is an issue you want to address, it’s time to get started. Once you have found why you want to begin your own community project, assess your skills, who could be able to help you, how much time you could commit, and how much money you’ll be able to raise. You’ll also need to find a project that actually addresses a need and consider whether any similar program already exists.
Choose a Cause
Now that you know what you’re capable of doing, it’s time to choose a cause for your project. Bring together a group of people who would also like to get involved and come up with a list of ideas. If there are many causes in the community to find a solution for, choose one that makes the most impact. When choosing a cause, you must also be realistic and honest with your ideas. For example, if you and your group want to create a day camp for at-risk youth, do you have the means or funds to do so? Could there be a better way to help the youth in your community?
The best way to find a cause that will create an effective impact is to be realistic with your work. It’s better to throw your support behind an existing project than expend a lot of resources on something that doesn’t get off the ground.
Develop a Plan
Once you’ve found a plausible cause that will have a great impact on your community, the next step is to develop a plan for your project. Start by writing down exactly what you hope to accomplish. Think about your big picture goal as well as the small details that will help you to get to that goal. Make a list of the equipment or tools you will need, how many people or volunteers it will take, the necessary time commitment, and assess any liabilities. While developing your plan, begin recruiting volunteers committed to the project. Creating a realistic and detailed budget for your project is also needed when creating a plan.
Raise Money and Gain Publicity
When your volunteers are set and plan is underway, it’s time to raise the money needed to execute your project. This can be done through street collections, organized events, direct mail donations or even sponsors from local businesses. Establish a detailed strategy of how you and the other volunteers will raise money. Raising money for your cause is also a good time to begin gaining publicity among the community. A great way to get some publicity is contacting local TV or radio stations, newspapers, or blogs. Inform them of the specific details of your project and what you hope to accomplish. It will also be good to create a social media platform for your project as well on sites like Facebook or Instagram. It helps to have a branding guide and business proposal that can be presented to as many organizations as possible.
Execute Your Project
After all of your team’s hard work and planning, it’s finally time to bring your community service project to life. Make sure everything goes according to plan and leave no stone unturned. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste—pay attention to every detail. Make sure everything is in order the day before your project is executed.
Once the project is over, it’s easy to ask “What now?”. Reflect with your team and volunteers on whether the project was a success. Take the time to flourish in the impact you made. Creating your own successful community service takes a lot of time, planning and commitment, but is worth the change and reward of making your community a better place.
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