So this past weekend my partner and I found ourselves shamelessly binge-watching Crufts on Channel 4. Between spells of cute-dog-hypnosis we'd watch the short charity films that pepper throughout the coverage, and feel that familiar guilt of “why aren't we doing more? We must be horrible humans.” This was a harrowing reminder that the world is far from perfect and that it’s not going to get any better without average-Joes rolling up their sleeves and getting involved.
To those who’ve felt this similar pang I have one piece of advice - weaponize your creativity for good. Many charities are underfunded and have their budgets wrapped up in keeping the operation running, leaving little of the pot to go towards marketing or raising awareness of their cause. Whether you’re a graphic designer, painter, videographer or writer - offering your unique skills to a charity allows a worthy cause to benefit from your ability.
In the past I’ve made a couple of videos for Scottish-based animal charity campaigns and I found the whole experience to be extremely rewarding and worthwhile. Video production isn’t something that many charities are able to budget for despite being a vital social media tool. The work was hugely appreciated by the charity and helped them publish stronger and more dynamic content on their web platforms, resulting in more audience engagement and therefore more exposure to their cause.
This year I'll be volunteering with Mayhew, an animal welfare charity based in London, by capturing and creating video content of their Open Days. I can't wait to play with some gorgeous animals, capture some lovely moments and create something that will hopefully help their cause.
If you have a special talent and are looking for an opportunity to put it to good use then I’d highly recommend contacting local charities that you’re interested in helping. Use event calendars and sites like Eventbrite to find events near you, strike up a conversation and see how your skills could be of use. And if they’ve got it covered then there are always other ways in which you can volunteer your time. Give it a go, and see if you can create for good.