You can support community action in a myriad different ways: from volunteering time at a local food bank to funding a campaign to equip young people with the tools to take climate action on their doorsteps. With such a variety of options out there it can be hard to know where to start.
Let’s begin with a quick look at why supporting community action is a great idea.
☀️ You get to connect directly with the changemakers tackling the issues you’re both passionate about.
☀️ You get to see amazing impact – the result of community groups being primed to support the exact needs of their communities.
☀️ You get real-time feedback from the community actors out there using your support to make change happen.
When it comes to supporting local communities you get so much more than a warm fuzzy feeling from putting money in a donations jar.
Community group: Helping Homeless Believe supports people experiencing homelessness in the Bristol area
We know you’re big on good will but short on time so we’ve made things simple by presenting you with the 5 main ways you can support local communities.
5 ways to get involved in community action
1: Fund community groups
You’d be amazed at how far community groups can stretch even small amounts of money. They get amazing stuff done because they are born out of local need and they are trusted by their communities.
2: Run employee volunteer days
The Semble team does it twice a year to get back to our roots and boost morale. We connect with a community group running a project near us and we go out together as a team to get involved and lend a hand. n.b. This is still more than possible through lockdowns.
3: Offer pro bono support.
Maybe you can offer legal support, run a community group’s social media account or give free workshops on volunteer management for community leaders. Let the Semble team know and we’ll extend the offer to our community group network.
4: Sponsor a community action campaign
If you want to champion community action at a larger scale then help grow a campaign that supports grassroots changemaking across a region, country or even the world. For an example of a community action campaign check out Backyard Nature – a campaign giving ALL kids the tools to take environmental action on their doorstep.
5: Give a platform to community action to celebrate and promote the work of community groups. Maybe you could write a tweet about a local group, give a radio interview with a community leader or offer editorial inches to stories of positive local action.
Community group: Birmingham Wheelchair Basketball promotes disability inclusion in the West Midlands
Before you get down to action you need to decide which of these 5 routes to take and which of the thousands of community groups out there to support. A good way to tackle those questions is to think about what impact you want this community action to have on your business. Do you want to bring your business purpose to life? Are you focused on having happy employees? Is engaging in the area around your workplace front of mind? Or maybe you’d really like the chance to tap into the community spirit of the past 12 months?
Once you’ve figured this out it’s time to connect your aims to your community action.
Here are some examples: if your business purpose is all about food then you’ll want to connect with community groups running food banks, food rescue schemes and community farms. If having happy employees is your focus you’ll want to look at volunteering options and involve your workforce in deciding which groups to support. If engaging in a particular geographic area is the name of the game then find the community groups active local to that spot.
Community group: Smartworks provides free interview clothes to disadvantaged women across the North West.
There we have it, 5 top tips for supporting local communities plus advice on how to figure out where to start. If you’re feeling inspired and want to chat about how your business can get going then get in touch. We’re ready to talk community action and to connect you with our network of nearly 4,000 community groups.