Cosmo’s Guide to Changing the World

Cosmo’s Guide to Changing the World

10/21/2021 3:41:00 PM

Cosmo’s Guide to Changing the World

Who says you can’t do big shit? Just start here.

Pacific EnvironmentThey partner with local environmental leaders along the Pacific Rim to help protect all the creatures that live there.DONATEThe Trevor ProjectThis org runs a 24/7 national suicide prevention hotline, a text line, and a social networking platform for LGBTQ+ youth.

VOLUNTEERResult 1: Volunteer when you can, donate when you can’tYou can still be a solid activist with a smol budget or messy schedule. Join an org that has volunteer ops at least once a month and get in on those. When you’re slammed at work or just exhausted from being a person in 2021, donate your regularly scheduled take-out money and pat yourself on the back for fighting the good fight. Whatever you can contribute is enough, says Congresswoman Ilhan Omar: “Everyone’s capacity is going to look a little different.”

Result 2: Volunteer remotelyThe internet is here to help you help the world without putting on pants or seeing other humans. Spend an hour or so per week working for your cause by creating social posts to spread awareness about your issue (move your eyes to the right), writing thank-you letters to donors, contacting lawmakers, or doing any other virtual work your organization needs to get done. Introverts are activists too, k?

Result 3: Plan a thingChanging the world needs planners like you to help get shit done. Organize a drive that brings in stuff like food, clothing, or whatever your cause needs rn. If you’re a people person, invite friends or group members to help. Not you? No shame in doing a small-scale version of the thing solo.

Result 4: Put your money to workLook, there’s nothing wrong with using your cash to make change—and you can do it without blowing a whole paycheck or throwing a bake sale. If you’re not looking to make IRL friends, ask social followers to donate to your org and offer to match whatever they contribute. If you do wanna be around other passionate people, join a volunteer group and offer to drive others who are short on gas money. Whomst doesn’t love feeling like a sugar mama? Whomst?

Hold up, we should talk about burnout red flags...Okay, now that you’ve got some direction, let’s take a sec to acknowledge that changing the world is a big job that takes emotional, physical, and financial work. And all of that can be, um, exhausting. So keep an eye out for these symptoms of legit burnout as you keep kicking ass. If you spot them, it’s time to take a breath—a big one.

You’re not sleeping.Tossing and turning or getting a less-than-solid amount of sleepy time per night means something is off, and it could be your schedule.You’re anti­social.Think of the last time you spoke to a relative or close friend. Has it been a while? Disconnection can sneak up on you when you’re doing too much.

You’re avoiding movement.Exercise—even just walking—helps boost your mood, and if you’re skipping it because you’re too tired or too busy, it’s time to reassess.Your sched is packed; your bank account is not.Take a close look at the areas that feel depleted (yes, even that debit account), and make a plan to adjust accordingly.

You’re always annoyed.When the barista messing up your order or your boo missing the “Pick up dinner on your way home?” text starts to ruin your day…every day, that’s burnout, baby. Take a break.SOURCE:a licensed psychologist and the director of multicultural affairs at UCSF

How to use the socials for the greater goodTurns out, you don’t have to put pants on to spread the word about your passion project. Just bust out your phone and dispense your message to the masses. Read on for more details on doing just that.Follow:See an organization doing cool things? Let it know by supporting its content. “Each follower is a relationship that can be mobilized,” says Deja Foxx, founder of Gen Z Girl Gang, a community “redefining sisterhood for a new generation” through social media, and a former social strategist for Vice President Kamala Harris.

Link:Share a link in your IG Story and bio so your followers can learn more about the org you’re volunteering or raising money for. Tell them why it’s important to you and exactly what you want them to do (donate! volunteer! repost!). You could drop these Stories daily, but it’s no biggie if you don’t. Still: “That extra attention and validation might be the deciding factor for someone to donate to that organization over a similar one,” says Sloane Stephens, founder of the Sloane Stephens Foundation, which tutors and coaches underserved students around the world. “You never know what will make the difference.”

Share:Maybe you whip up an infographic on Canva, create a TikTok of your last volunteering adventure, or post about a podcast you listened to. Whatever shareable content you put out there, your friends and followers are paying attention. “Every one of the people who follow us has a stake in what we care about because they care about us,” Foxx says.

Live:It’s not easy to host a Live, but if you want to go the extra mile, you can ask followers to send questions about your cause or invite someone to be your guest for a casual Q&A. Chatting with someone running for city council, for example, might encourage those in your community to get out and vote or even to run for office themselves.

Wait, should this be yourjobjob?So you probably noticed that many, many members of our panel of badass experts started their own org to take charge of the things they care about. But just a friendly reminder, you don’t have to go out and start a nonprofit to be successful. That said, if you want to start one (or just earn a paycheck from one that already exists), consider these v important Qs before making a career change.

You’ve been thinking about this for a while, yes?Well, it might be worth pursuing, says Brigitte Amiri, an attorney at the ACLU who fights for reproductive rights. She got interested in abortion access in high school and tried to start a pro-choice club at her Catholic university. When that didn’t work out, she knew she wanted to do this full-time.

Can you live with a smaller paycheck?Making a difference in the things you care about issofulfilling, but unfortch, your take-home pay might not be, says Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “You have to understand what’s really important to you.” And if you’re comfy trading a higher salary for a higher purpose, maybe it’s time to get after it.

Do you like to rally people?Being able to bring folks together is key, so if consensus building and conflict resolution aren’t your jam, you may want to reconsider this path, says McGill Johnson.Are you cool with working your way up?The smartest way to get into the nonprofit game might not be launching your own, says Foxx. “I started out canvassing and going to trainings,” she explains. “Look at the work already being done and see how you can best plug into it.”

How’s your savings?Cash at the ready was essential for Nadya Okamoto, founder of PERIOD, a nonprofit focused on ending period poverty and stigma. Before she launched, she kept six jobs until she had enough for living expenses while working for herself full-time. “I didn’t get paid until three years in,” she says. Obvi, this is just one scenario, but regardless of what yours is, you’ll need at least six months of savings to start your own world-changing endeavor.

Mekita RivasMekita Rivas a multicultural freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

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