Wednesday, August 24, 2011

7 Ways Writers Can Give Back

Sometimes I think that how I volunteer, or give back has to be BIG and dramatic, like going on an international volunteer vacation, fundraising thousands of dollars, or starting a nonprofit. Anyone else feel that way?

Thing is, if I'm honest with myself, I know that the most sustainable way for me to
make the world a better place is by using skills I love, like writing and teaching, which can be quiet work. Yesterday I brainstormed a list of ways writers can create positive change:
  1. Volunteer as a copywriter, or grant writer for a nonprofit.
  2. Write a story for your community newspaper, or blog.
  3. Write a novel, play, poem, essay, blog post, or article about a cause, issue, inspiring changemaker, or movement.
  4. Be a mentor, or teacher to other writers.
  5. Write an op-ed.
  6. Write your Congressperson.
  7. Write a letter for Amnesty International.
What other ideas should be included in the list?

Flickr photo credit: Vintage Underwood Number 5 Manual Typewriter by Michael Dolan.
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    1. Cool ideas, except first one, in my opinion. You do not have to do something big and dramatic to achieve your goals. Slow and steady approach is often much better!

    2. I like your list, Britt! It reminded me of Sparked ( Writers can sign up and list all their skills. Then they'll get notes from nonprofits who could use some of that talent pro bono.

    3. Glad you liked the post, Gizmo!

      Ifdy ~ Thanks for giving a shout out. They're awesome folks.

    4. Great list! This is something I like to do personally:

      Write an encourage letter (or e-mail) to someone. You'd be surprise at how much that could make their day!

    5. Wonderful idea, Ashley!

    6. Hi Britt,

      I also feel that way about "giving back" - like I need to go BIG.

      I like your suggestions, and I'd like to add one that I mentioned in a previous comment: volunteering at You should check us out - we connect volunteers skilled in forms of internet outreach with non-profits who need help with their online presence. I think you would appreciate the volunteering model because it's a small time commitment for a potentially big impact. You can blog on behalf of a non-profit, or take a look at their blog or social media accounts and give them advice. I think your readers might appreciate a volunteer opportunity like this- using their expertise on behalf of a non-profit they support. Please take a look and tell me what you think:


    7. Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for letting me know about Media Cause.


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