Even the smallest moments in life can present us with an opportunity to do something that positively impacts the world.
So it is important for us to think about what we can do in life, either professionally and personally – and to remember that doing good does not always have to be some grand gesture.
We have immense power to drive positive change through our time, skills and money. And every time we spend our time or money on something, we are, in effect, shaping the nature and voting on the future of the world in which we live.
If we are able to work with or on a purposeful company or collaborate with mission-driven businesses or organisations, we positively impact the world to solve certain problems.
However, outside our professional work, we can still spare a little of our time or resources to make a change. So, the simple truth is that anyone can create a meaningful impact with even the smallest act.
Below are some different options on how you can, even in small ways, still positively impact the world, both locally and globally.
1. Donate to a cause you believe in
Donations can be in various forms, from money and supplies to clothes. You just need to see how you can convey your support to your surrounding community. Here are 4 different types of donations.
Donate Clothes and Shoes
We often have so much more than we need. Think about some of the outfits in your closet – when was the last time you wore some of them? We often have clothes we rarely wear. Those clothes can improve the life of someone in need, which might help them get a job or go to school/work.
Check which associations or local homeless shelters are asking for clothes to donate.
But be mindful of the conditions of the clothes and shoes you donate. Make a proper selection. If some are not in good condition, find a place to fix them before donating.
You can help the most vulnerable people with different supplies – from food to books or school materials. Maybe you can feed the homeless by providing food supplies. Or give the necessary school tools for a good education and make vulnerable kids happy.
During pandemics, there were programs where you could donate computers and tablets to recover so vulnerable children could keep learning remotely at home.
Get in contact with the local organisations and check what kind of supplies are needed.
You can consider giving to a wide range of causes to make an impact in any place around the world, from environmental conservation to animal protection and social causes.
In the case of the war in Ukraine and floods in Afghanistan, donating money to experienced organisations, such as Red Cross or Unicef, that act locally might be a better option than sending the goods. With the money, they are able to get the resources they need faster and act instantly.
Or you can support the Work For Impact Pathways program to improve the long-term employability of young people in low-income countries.
If you are looking to make a local impact, the associations might not need any physical goods – donating some of your time may be the most valuable thing you can give. However, you can donate money to help support their operation and people..
Every hospital has a recurring daily demand for blood, You also positively impact lives by helping to save them. Of course, the first step is to find out if you are able to donate.
You can check where to donate through the International Federation of Red Cross or check other organisations in your country to find a donation place near you.
2. Support and distribute public petitions
Public petitions are good ways to trigger the changes we want to see in the world. The people have the power and the vote to influence changes in businesses, governments and countries to dictate the future.
So supporting and spreading petitions aligned with your values is a simple act that takes a few minutes and can provide a good impact.
Often good petitions are refused or never generates impact because they reach a small number of people, Consequently, don’t gather enough votes to succeed.
Take a look at Change.org, Avaaz or Petições Públicas and support petitions you believe in.
If you have a topic that really bothers you and you cannot find a representative petition in your community or country, you can consider starting a petition. You’ll never know how positively you can affect your community through it if you don’t try.
3. Contribute to local communities by Volunteering
You don’t need to go far to make a good impact. Sometimes there is something or someone just around the corner who would hugely benefit from your actions, interventions or interest, It is very possible that your city, town or village has several problems it is wrestling with but doesn’t have enough resources to solve them. The local impact you make can generate a ripple effect to a bigger scale impact.
You can always volunteer by using your time and your great skills to make a difference in supporting causes you care about, from animal shelters and food pantries to retirement homes or wildlife conservation.
Check out VolunteerMatch.org, Engage or Just Serve to find which local groups are looking for volunteers.
4. Support projects through crowdlending or crowdfunding.
Your money can have a positive impact on sustainable projects.
At the end of the month, we receive our paycheck, and all the money ends up in the bank account. Instead of letting it sit there without any gains, you can set aside a small portion of your salary for impact investment.
By lending your money and investing in impact-driven projects, you can earn money while helping organisations make a positive impact socially and environmentally.
In Portugal, you can lend your money to support more sustainable projects through Goparity. Or you can support important causes or campaigns around the country in different fields through PPL that need funds to make good changes.
From time to time, you can find projects committed to delivering socially and environmentally responsible solutions to invest in at Crowdcube.
Simple actions are better than none to positively impact the world.
We are sure you are already doing small acts that are making a greater impact.
But it is always worth reminding yourself about what impacts you have been making as an integral part of your everyday life. Don’t feel guilty or frustrated about what you are not doing – and we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed with all the options. We know you can’t add every single action at once.
Even short showers, picking up trash, riding a bicycle to work and recycling or refusing freebies are small acts that can provide a good positive difference. Just select the ones aligned with your values and do the best you can.
Start small. Start with one of the seismic nudges to positively impact society and the environment. As you feel comfortable adding any action to your life, you can embrace other options.
Driven by your passion and interests, you can nudge the changes you want to see in the world. By doing good, you feel good.
Do good through your work.
Are you a freelancer that wants to collaborate with purposeful businesses and organisations? Work for Impact is a freelance platform that aims to connect skilled freelancers with organizations that are built upon ethical business practices. By joining the platform, you’ll gain access to a wide range of job opportunities being offered by clients that want to make a difference around the world. Sign up here and work as a freelancer.