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The world is a big beautiful place inhabited by billions of people from all walks of life. In my travels, I have first-hand knowledge of how vast our world, cultures, and social dilemmas are. When I was in college, I did community service with kids, the elderly, and at times, the homeless.
I had no fantasy about “saving” my adapted city or the world… but I was cognizant of my access to education and opportunities that everyone around me did not have. And that is why back then, and still now, I simply use my “natural resources” to give to social causes that concern me.
Sometimes, it can seem overwhelming trying to connect with or help people at home or abroad, but it's worth it. The world is full of social problems that need to be addressed, and you can make a difference by setting goals to improve the world around you.
No one can save the world on their own, but each individual can make an impact by bettering their community. Leading by example is the best way to incite and inspire change.
What are Social Goals?
A social goal is an objective that meets the needs of a specific group of people with the aim of promoting their well-being. Social goals are important because they provide a focus for individuals and groups working to make the world a better place.
They also inspire people to take action and can be a driving force for social change. One such example is the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, which was fought to achieve social goals, such as equality and justice for all. While racism, classism, sexism are still issues… the Civil Rights Movement made significant progress in establishing laws and bringing these problems center stage.
How to Establish Social Goals
The first step in setting social goals is to explore your interests and identify the problems that you are passionate about solving. The internet is a great resource for gathering information and pinpointing opportunities where you can be of the most use.
Social goals are important because they provide a sense of purpose and a way to improve the world we live in. They can also have a positive impact on both the people you are helping – as well as you. Establishing social goals can be a great way to explore your interests, learn new things, and make a difference in the world.
13 Examples of Social Goals to Help Improve the World
1. Volunteer for a local charity or non-profit organization
As mentioned earlier, I did volunteer work and learned that I am better at serving certain groups over others. It feels good to give back and, you never know, you might find your true calling. If you like kids, there are after-school programs. Do you have a car and care about hungry elderly people? Make time for Meals on Wheels.
Read: 6 SMART Goals Examples for Nonprofit Organizations
2. Fundraise for a cause you care about
Now that you have found an organization or group of people you want to help, how can you make the most impact? One way is by fundraising. Have a bake sale, car wash, or other creative ideas to bring in money to support your chosen social cause. You can do annual fundraisers such as a 5k walk/run or as little as a cupcake sale.
GoFundMe is another option to support individuals or groups. If you know someone specific that is struggling with bills, healthcare, employment or other issues that require additional financial resources, you may fundraise on their behalf. To date, GoFundMe has raised over $9 billion from millions of donors.
3. Advocate for social justice
This can be done in a number of ways. You can write letters to your representatives, start a petition, or join a protest. If you see something happening that isn't right, speak up! It's important to use your voice to fight for what you believe in.
Don't forget that your local Congressman, Senator, or other government officials are there to represent YOU. If you have an issue that you would like them to address, reach out and let them know. They can't help if they don't know there is a problem or if they don't understand that ignoring issues can cost them an election.
4. Educate yourself and others on social issues
If you want to make a difference, it's important to be informed about the issues you care about. This way, you can have knowledgeable conversations with others and help raise awareness.
You can also use your platform to educate and motivate others to act on behalf of these issues. Do you have tons of social media followers? Take a break from sharing silly memes and share something that matters – like stats about human trafficking, information on how to register to vote, places to go if you are hungry, etc.
5. Donate to a reputable charity
Not everyone is in a position to give their time, but we can all spare some money. Do your research and find a reputable charity that aligns with your values, then donate what you can.
One of the most important things you can do to make a difference is to vote. It's your civic duty and it's so important to have your voice heard.
If you don't like the way things are going in your country, state, or city – vote!
7. Reduce your carbon footprint
We only have one planet and we need to take care of it. There are a number of ways to reduce your carbon footprint… such as recycling, driving less, eating less meat, and using less water.
8. Support local businesses
When you buy from a big box store, your money goes to the CEO and shareholders. But when you shop at a local business, your money goes back into the community. You can literally see where your money is going.
As local businesses continue to expand, it can create more jobs and help grow the economy.
9. Be a mentor
If you have been fortunate enough to achieve success, why not pay it forward by becoming a mentor? There are a number of organizations that pair mentors with mentees. You can share your knowledge and experience with someone who is just starting out. This can be done in person or even virtually.
When I worked as a web producer, I was delighted to be asked to speak at mentoring events. I often had coffee chats with young individuals who reached out to me as well.
9. Be an ally
Allies are people who use their privilege to support marginalized groups. Regardless of your particular demographic, you can be an ally. This includes using your voice to speak up against discrimination, using your platform to amplify the voices of others, and educating yourself and others on social issues.
If you hear a racist or sexist joke, call it out. If you see someone being harassed, stand up for them. Witness something on the job and you have a high ranking position? Why not speak to your boss about changing the policy?
You can be out getting service and witness another customer or employee being treated unfairly. I have witnessed wait staff or counter staff being treated poorly and made it known to them that I saw what happened if they needed someone to back them up.
If you are ready to speak up about what is happening, you may be a huge help in preventing someone from being fired, or worse. As my 8-year- old nephew says, “Be an UPstander, not a BYstander!”
10. Give blood
One easy way to help others is to give blood. It only takes an hour or so of your time and it can save a life. You can check out the Red Cross website to find a blood drive near you. Some blood types are rarer than others, so if you have a rare blood type, your donation is even more valuable. In a time of crisis, like war or natural disaster, blood donation requests go up.
11. Participate in or organize a food drive
Food insecurity is a huge problem in the United States and around the world. You can help by organizing or participating in a food drive. This is especially important during the holidays, but food drives can be held year-round.
You can collect non-perishable food items and donate them to a local food bank. When you go shopping, look for those items on sale and pick up some extra cans or boxes. Volunteers are often needed at a food bank or soup kitchen. They usually need people to sort and bag items. Soup kitchens need help serving food. So there are tons of ways to get involved in this cause.
12. Look no further than home
Do you have a relative that is interested in your career field? Why not start there? Even if you don't have children, there may be someone else in your family that you can inspire and give direct knowledge to.
If you have a young niece or nephew, get them excited about STEM. If you are an artist, share your love of art with someone. If you are an engineer, you can tutor your younger relatives in math or science if they need it.
13. Use your career
You don't have to be a famous musician that writes a song like “We Are The World” or a tech tycoon with billions. People can use all types of career fields to initiate and maintain social change.
Just look at teachers, for example. In addition to teaching us very well, my 5th grade teacher helped instill a level of confidence in me and my classmates that has NEVER gone away. To this day, I remember she would tell us kids things like “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up”. I was a shy kid and she told me a couple of times “Speak up for yourself”.
Other fields like medicine, law, and social work also provide opportunities to make a real difference in the world.
Some lawyers even work pro bono to help those who can't afford it get the legal assistance they need. There are doctors and dentists who sometimes volunteer their services with organizations like the American Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. When I lived in Los Angeles, my dentist ran a successful business there but volunteered to provide free dental care regularly in Mexico.
Final Thoughts on Social Goals Examples to Help Improve the World
The world doesn’t have to be as dark as many news outlets portray it to be. While it will never be all sunshine and roses, it can be a better place if we all did our part to make it so. These social goals are a great place to start.
But remember: don't stop there! There are endless ways to make a difference, not just in the world, but in a single person’s life. Get creative and make things better by tackling one social goal at a time. That, or go all in with one of these goals… and make it something amazing that inspires others!
Your value system plays a big role in what type of causes you care about. Despite how you were raised, the person you are now – and aspire to be – lies in your hands. Read our article on 5 Reasons Why Personal Core Values are Important and then start exploring your “why” today.