A life of service is incredibly rewarding. However, it also comes with its challenges. For one, it’s not every day that you will encounter like-minded people. Not everyone is as interested or as involved as you and others. If you’re having a hard time engaging more people to get involved, then don’t fret. The good news is there are brilliant ways involving your community in service projects. Below are certified tips and things to remember.
1. Know your audience
It’s best to understand your community service first. Knowing allows you to assess why they may not be interested and how you can get them to have a change of heart. So know your audience.
Identify what the social, environment, cultural and physical factors affecting their participation. Moreover, evaluate what makes each of your community members unique. Once you do, you have a better shot at persuading them to get onboard.
2. Be clear about your goals and intent
If you are about to lead a group towards a community service project, you have to know it inside and out. You must know what your intentions, goals and desired outcome are. This way, you have a clear and consistent message that will continuously motivate your community.
Organize yourself and the project first. Prepare everything you need before addressing the community. Practice transparency at all times so everybody remains focused and inspired.
3. Make it fun and engaging
The lack of interest sometimes comes from the lack of engagement. Your best option is to ensure there is a fun side to what you’re doing. This way, your community sees the project as less of a chore and more a pure act of kindness. This tip can be especially helpful if you’re trying to get a younger age group to be part of the project.
It’s going to be a lot of hard work convincing people to start and stay. However, a little congeniality and charm can go a long way.
4. Show them it matters
For a lot of people, it’s only a problem when it happens to them. However, the heart of community service is empathy. We do not have to experience what those in need live through each day to know it matters.
Show your community that your project matters. Whether it’s a slideshow, video or an immersive trip to a project site, this will be enough to fuel them. This is what will help convince them that they must get involved.
5. Match tasks and individual personalities
Once you’ve won over the interest of your community, it’s time to sustain it. An effective way is to match talents and skills with individual personalities. For example, you can have the outgoing personality speak for the group while the quiet ones can keep a written record.
When you pair tasks and personalities correctly, community members will always feel that they’re useful. Moreover, they won’t feel that they are being forced to do something.
Involving your community in service can be challenging…
However, you will cover a lot more ground when you have more people backing you up. Don’t be disheartened by the lack of interest early on. Everyone has a heart of service in them. Some just need a little push.