23 Simple Ways to Make a Positive Impact in Your Community

23 Simple Ways to Make a Positive Impact in Your Community

Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:9 Minutes


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Stay impactful,

According to stoicism, life’s purpose is to leave things behind better than they were when you encountered them. While fixing the world or the country may seem like a herculean task, doing good in one’s community is a practical step one can take to start building positive momentum.

You can positively impact your community by using your words to encourage essential works, engage kids in lively recreation, and support those who simply need kindness.

Below are 23 different things you can do to create a positive impact across nine domains in your community, including but not limited to parenting, education, eradicating homelessness, and promoting social cohesion.

Venerate the Essential Worker

The nature of the world we live in turns our job titles into representations of who we are. And that can lead to the jobs we take for granted, resulting in us overlooking people like cashiers, bartenders, and cleaners. And while you can make their day simply by approaching them with empathy, one of the best ways to make an impact is by addressing them with as much respect as you would a CEO. 

Your impact: People who work in thankless, albeit essential, jobs will no longer feel disengaged. Your display of respect will positively impact their self-esteem and make them proud of their vocation.

Become the Positive Connector

People can end up believing that material possessions determine life. But one’s success and experience are defined mostly by social experiences. Think about every successful person you know of; they all had a positive social connection. 

For instance, Mark Zuckerberg meeting an investor, Warren Buffet, having Benjamin Graham as a mentor, and every actor receiving the green light from a director are all social exchanges. Therefore, to help uplift your community, you must help create social connections.

As a connector, your role is to spot value in potential connections and then help build those connections to unlock that value. Here are some of the connections you can make:

  • Connect low-skilled workers to those who can train/ teach them to scale up their income.
  • Connect your university graduates with bright ideas to potential investors who can fund their startup ambitions.
  • Connect like-minded individuals of any kind to come together and practice their hobbies.
  • Connect those facing a challenge with those who have already overcome it. This could mean connecting people on a diet with those who have gotten in shape, connecting elders trying to learn with those who learned at a later stage in life, or connecting people trying to start their own business with the people who have established successful businesses.

Your impact: when you start connecting people, you multiply possible opportunities in your community. People are often held back solely by the lack of opportunities. By giving the disadvantaged people in your community a fair shot at overcoming one of the disadvantages holding back, you will soon see success spring up in areas of your neighborhood, including education, business, and general happiness levels. 

Many people will cut years of trial and error from their lives by talking to mentors, and by getting educated, many professionals will start earning a higher income. 

Support Local Businesses

One of the best ways to uplift your community is by boosting its local economy. It is a contribution that you can make at any level. You can support locally owned businesses in your neighborhood by doing one of the following.

Shopping Local/ Consumer Support

By only shopping from locally owned businesses, you will make sure that most of the money you spend stays within your community’s economy. When you buy from a larger business owned by a conglomerate, the money goes out and is only paid back to the community in minimum wage and staff salaries. 

Because local mom and pop shops do not have economies of scale, their per-unit cost may be slightly higher than corporation-backed businesses’ cost. Still, it is a markup you should be willing to pay if you wish to keep the money within your local economy.

Review Local Businesses

You cannot purchase your way into making a small business owner rich. But you can encourage others to buy from a local business, which is a great way to multiply your commitment to the local businesses. Each time you purchase from a small business and have a positive experience, share it on Google or Facebook. Let the word spread and help the business acquire more customers.

Invest in Local Businesses

You may help as a consumer or a reviewer, but the best way to impact your local businesses is by investing in them. As an investor, you advance cash to business owners who need it for their operations and become a part-owner of the venture. This is not charity but involves an economic arrangement where you stand to make money while doing good for local employment and business ownership.

Your impact: Crime and violence are directly correlated with relative poverty. And one way to combat these issues long term is by uplifting the financial makeup of your community. When you start supporting local businesses, you help positively impact employment rates, encourage autonomy, and help reduce violence and deprivation in your neighborhood.

Engage the Classroom

The education system has many issues, and one of its results is a disengaging classroom. Students often mentally checkout of lectures and teachers are forced to talk with unfocused minds. In one of the most impactful attempts to transform your community, you can help make the classrooms more engaging. Here are some of how you can achieve that.

Student of the Day Prizes

You can donate toys and gadgets that students can win if the teachers decide they were engaged throughout the classes.

Donate Interesting Stationery

Often, students may not be able to buy high-quality supplies like pens and notebooks. By providing them with interesting stationery, you can turn reading and writing into a form of play. 

Organize a Practical Learning Day

Some schools have ‘bring your father to work’ day where children’s parents talk to the class about their day jobs. Unfortunately, that can reflect the unfair nature of life with some parents being better off than others and some kids not even having parents who can visit and talk about their job. Instead, you can connect with business owners and organize fun experiential learning trips for the children. 

Because these trips aren’t attached to anyone’s parents, it reduces the element of competition and focuses on education and fun.

Your impact: Many students who do not learn to read by the third grade do not graduate high school. This shows how important it is to get engaged in the classroom early on. By engaging students in learning early on, you will ensure the success of the next generation. It is a small contribution that pays dividends across time. 

And while you may not see immediate results, you will still know that you have done well from the smiles on their faces, which is a joy in itself.

Compound the Goodness

One of the most interesting terms in investing/ saving is ‘compounding,’ which refers to a snowball effect created by reinvesting the return on one’s investment. You can compound your community’s positive impact by starting a ‘pay it forward’ campaign by following these steps:

  1. Visit a shop or a restaurant frequented by a significant number of people. This required a large volume to work.
  2. Pay the cashier for what you have bought, then give him or her some extra money and let them know you are paying it forward for the next customer.

Your impact: The next customer will find out that somebody has paid for them, and they will either accept the complete donation or will accept it and leave behind an even larger donation to handle the next bill. This outcome, however, is not guaranteed. Some people need complete donation and accept it, you have still done well. 

Others pay forward a smaller amount. To ensure that your pay-it-forward chain is successful, you have to start multiple chains at supermarkets, cafes, and diners, to ensure that at least one of them snowballs into a long-lasting chain reaction.

Encourage Positive Parenting

Often, we get criticized for what we do wrong than get complimented for what we do right. By taking incredibly positive things like the right parenting for granted, we do not ensure the persistence of these in our community. Here are a few ways to encourage positive parenting in your community:

  • Compliment parents when their children behave well. What is seen as “normal” is very hard to bring about in a child. And if a parent has a child who isn’t misbehaving, that is worth complimenting.
  • Connect parents who have model kids with new parents for advice sessions. Many new parents may not show it but are internally quite nervous about the new challenge. Having someone who has gone through it be your mentor can be a very comforting prospect.

Your impact: When you encourage positive parenting, you take the pressure off of the school system, police, and courts to discipline the community. By starting at home, you can make sure that the social order and common good are prioritized, and the community gets uplifted. It is hard to believe that all it takes to get such results is a simple compliment and a handshake.

Sports to the Rescue

You can do a lot of good by combating boredom. One of the biggest causes of unnecessary violence is the absence of a positive stimulus. In other words, many people ended up in prison and addicted to drugs because they made bad decisions in empty pockets of time. Community-changing programs like after-school development have recorded positive returns on engaging students in sports and other competitive games.

You do not need to be a charitable organization to host local games. Here are a few ways you can bring positive engagement into your community through sports:

  • Help create uniforms. Often, starting from scratch is like trying to reinvent the wheel. Many neighborhoods have some form of street sports, be it basketball or backyard baseball. By getting team kits online, you can easily encourage more youth to get involved.
  • Add a prize. While most youth playing sports have some hope of stardom, if you can add a tangible prize at the end of the tournament, you would increase the number of people taking the games more seriously.
  • Bring a sponsor. Remember how we discussed supporting local businesses? This is where you solicit local businesses to sponsor local sports events. This helps get the word out there about the business’s brand and creates goodwill for them while providing monetary support for the community’s sports events.

Your impact: You will almost certainly see a disengagement from unnecessary violence as long as the youth get invested in sports and games. Local businesses will get good advertising as they start sponsoring the events, and people will have something to watch locally in their free time. And in the rare instances of serendipity, you might help find the next Michael Jordan or Tom Brady. Who knows?

Be a Positive Voice

While people are nice to others, they are harsh on themselves the way they would never be with another person. Anxiety and stress are at an all-time high. People put on a happy face and feel even more pressure because they think they have to keep that up as they see everyone else is happy. But the fact is, most of the happy faces are hiding their anxieties. Here is what you can do to reduce this suffering.

Bring Attention to Friends’ Accomplishments

Let people know how much of a great guy or girl your friend is for something they did but haven’t publicized. People sometimes underestimate their value, and you can see that when they do something good but don’t seem too proud of it. Be the person who helps them be proud of the good in them. Because of the things we are proud of, we end up doing more of it.

Empathize With Those Who Idealize You

Let people who think you are happy and successful understand that you, too, have your battles.

If someone looks up to you, chances are they idealize you. And that may be good when it motivates them, but if they see you as perfect, they may beat themselves up about not being ‘perfect’ like you. Simply letting them know that you, too, have had your battles and still have some will encourage them to be okay with the battles they face internally.

Let People Know You Are Proud of Them

When a friend, a colleague, or even a stranger has overcome even the smallest of obstacles, let them know that you are proud of their accomplishment. It can be incredibly hard to make the slightest progress under some circumstances. And you may not know how badly someone needs that encouragement.

Your impact: Multiple surveys have listed the Danish people among the happiest people in the world. This comes despite their cold weather conditions, high taxes, and relatively little infrastructure. The reason behind their happiness is social cohesion and an emphasis on social positivity. 

When you celebrate your friends, tell people that you are proud of their achievements, no matter how small, and let people feel less pressured by letting them know that everyone has a battle. You are alleviating overall social stress and making room for social cohesion. As people stop seeing others as perfect beings against whom to measure themselves, they will empathize with others.

Help the Homeless

Our society runs like a game of monopoly, and those who have little can still make it work for them, but those who have nothing are truly stuck in their position. Homelessness directly interferes with one’s ability to earn, which leads to a life of relying on begging and a lack of shelter. You can help the homeless get from zero to one in the following ways:

  • Pack toiletries like soap, shaving cream, shampoo, and deodorant in a ziplock bag and give these to the homeless people in your city.
  • Give your pre-owned clothes to the homeless. Many establishments do not even admit homeless people because their clothes can give away their condition in life. To help end this, you can give your clothes to the homeless.
  • Ask around about low-skill job openings or search online to find job listings that match the criteria. You can print these listings out and let homeless people know about jobs they can take to start earning an income.

Your impact: You will not fix homelessness just doing this. But with the actions above, any homeless person with the drive and skills is given a chance to get their life back together. While this might not change the entire community, it will change the community for one person. From a place to feel stuck in, it will become a place to rise above. And this could become an inspirational story that motivates hundreds of others in your community.

Final Thoughts

One of our moral duties is to improve life for those around us. Instead of focusing on changing the world, we can start the change at home. Encourage those who do good things, motivate others to adopt the good things, and help those who are forced to resort to bad things. You will find your community uplifted and people living better lives, all propagated by little acts of kindness, a big impact.

Stay impactful,

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