As an activist, or a parent of a child activist, I get it. You are passionate about this thing. This cause you are championing is important to you or your child. You want it to be important to me too.

Here’s what I want you to know, and questions to consider before you try to convert me to your cause or movement.

I get asked to join or help with a lot of causes.

Like most of you, my social media feeds are full of donation requests and people trying to fund raise, join their cause, or wanting me to volunteer my time. The causes are varied and equally important. I am asked to support local and international organizations. I am asked to help political and religious groups. There are requests for my help related to the environment, socially or culturally disadvantaged people, and animals.

There are so many organizations that want my help, especially during the holiday season.

I already spend a lot of time helping people, organizations and causes. 

I don’t humble brag about volunteering by snapping a selfie or tweeting about it. Unless I think what I am doing to help is relevant to my friends, followers or can help promote my cause. Most of what I am doing, you might not hear or know about.

Even though I am a helper, it is physically impossible for me to help with every worthy cause and organization. Even super heroes can’t save everyone.

With all that I am already doing, I want to know how you want me to help you.

Like you, I’m busy. Please, be succinct with your call to action.

Do you want me to learn about your cause? Use my network as an influencer? Volunteer my time or talents? There are a lot of ways that I can help, but what specifically do you want from me?

PS If you want money, you’ve targeted the wrong person.

Before you try to convert me to your cause, I want to know why.

Why should I focus on this cause instead of others? Be specific. I know you want help or you wouldn’t be reaching out to me. I want concrete, measurable examples of what you will do with my help if I offer it.

If I say no, or don’t respond to your request, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about you or your cause. Don’t quit or get offended.

Maybe I’m already assisting a similar cause or organization. I know that your cause is important, but maybe I’m not convinced I am the right person to help with your cause.

Maybe, your cause isn’t very important to me personally. It doesn’t mean that I don’t value you if I don’t support your cause.

Maybe the way that you approached me to ask me to join your cause was off-putting.

If you want my help, please don’t use guilt or scare tactics.  Don’t try to pull my heart strings. If you are using your child in a thinly veiled attempt to advocate for your cause, just don’t. I don’t want you to trash talk or demonize those with opposing view points of your cause. Manipulation is not how you convert me or get me to help.

Before you try to convert me to your cause, I want you to know that I like hearing from you or your child. Please focus on joy, and the good you are doing for your cause. The world needs people who care and want to do good.  Share a personal conversion story of why you or your child are passionate about this thing that you want me to join.

If I’ve helped you in the past, did you express gratitude?

Helpers want to feel appreciated, and acknowledged.

Finally, before you try to convert me to your cause or movement, I want to know, what have you done to support the causes that are important to me?

I’ll be much more receptive to helping you if you’ve invested time to champion things I value.

In addition to gifted advocacy, here are a few topics that I have written about in the past that are important to me.

When You Find an Ancestor Who Owned Slaves

Mending Broken Branches in Your Family Tree

Promoting Diversity in the Genealogy Community

This post is a guest post for Hoagies’ Gifted Education monthly blog hop series. You can read more about this month’s topic Child Activists, by clicking here or graphic below.

Only the Gifted stuff

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