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Mar 30, 2010

Girl Scout CookiesThe last few weeks the Care2 office has been going crazy with Girl Scout cookies. The record so far is one employee who bought 20 boxes of cookies from his neighbor. He then passed them out to all the Care2 employees, resulting in a major cookie binge, all in the name of “building girls of courage, confidence, and character” through the Girl Scout program.  I am proud to say I helped empower young girls though my cookie eating.

But cookies are just one way we can mobilize our communities to raise awareness and donations for a charity. As we’re each looking for opportunities to increase our impact on the causes we care about most, we should consider both traditional and emerging ways to organize our on and offline friends and neighbors. Here are just a few ideas for organizing your community to help a cause:
 
1) Throw a bake sale. Okay this idea isn’t exactly original, but I love that it is something that everyone can easily get involved with, especially kids. And as I just explained, I am a sucker for cookies. You can kick this concept up a notch with a theme, such as making it an “international food fair” where everyone brings a dish that represents his or her nationality, or perhaps turn it into a pancake breakfast. Locate your sale where there is heavy foot traffic, and get the word out in advance with lots of phone calls to friends and neighbors, as well as well-positioned posters.

2) Organize a rummage sale. Another tried and true fund raising event, selling your slightly used items alongside your neighbors in the name of charity is a green way to extend the life of your stuff. Call it a “going green block sale”. Donate the proceeds to your favorite charity.

3) Start a Petition. If you've been a member of Care2 for any length of time, you know how much we love the power of petitions. Petitions are an effective way to generate awareness for a cause and initiate change. Try creating your own petition online at Care2’s thePetitionSite, and then promote it to your friends and family, both on and offline.

4) Make your cause visible in places your community gathers. Work with your local library to set up a special display highlighting reading materials related to your cause. Don’t forget to include a donation jar. Or, give a presentation to community organizations (i.e. senior centers, faith-based organizations, rotary clubs, parent/teacher organizations, neighborhood associations) and leave them with flyers on how to get involved. Are you more of the virtual type? Then get in front of folks online, by posting status updates about your cause on your social networking pages.

5) Reward local businesses for supporting your cause. Perhaps you are interested in local businesses becoming more environmentally friendly, beautifying main street, or creating work experience opportunities for underprivileged youth. One way to harness the power of your community is to collectively reward the businesses that support a cause by patronizing them. Check out an innovative site called CarrotMob, for tips on getting started.

 
Even some consumer brands are getting into the act. For example, ConAgra (who is a Care2 sponsor) recently teamed up with Feeding America to help stop child hunger. On their website childhungerendshere.com they have a handful of ideas for getting your community involved in raising donations to end hunger. Their how-to-guide on planning a neighborhood rally has some practical planning tips and creative ideas for throwing a fundraising event.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on organizing a community to help a cause. Please submit ideas (your own and/or others you've seen) or stories of successful fundraising and awareness building events in the comments section below.  We'll be doing follow-up posts digging into some of these ideas to help spread the word. Thank you!

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Posted: Mar 30, 2010 10:06am

 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

Randy Paynter
, 1
Hillsborough, CA, USA
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\\n\\r\\nHello my C2 Family, \\r\\nFirst let me say Thank You to those of you who have so sweetly fwd my posts. You are SO AWESOME!! I will never forget your help. Anytime I can repay the favour, please tell me. Second, my Submit button has disappeared lea...
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13
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New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
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\\nRemove Bengt Holst as Scientific Director or Copenhagen Zoo\\r\\nhttp://www.thepe titionsite.com/758/466/68 7/remove-bengt-holst-as-s cientific-director-or-cop enhagen-zoo/\\r\\nFire Bengt Holst from the Copenhagen Zoo for Having Marius the Giraffe Killed\\r...
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\\nhttp://www.thepetition site.com/717/710/409/end- bear-bile-farming-in-chin a/\\r\\n\\r\\nhttp://www. thepetitionsite.com/takea ction/106/482/616/\\r\\n\ \r\\nhttp://www.thepetiti onsite.com/232/826/784/do gs-are-family-members-and -not-personal-property/\\ r\\n\\r\\nhttp...
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by Dave C.
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