Ways to Support Your Favorite Charities … By Writing


Project for Awesome 2015 is in full swing! The cause has raised, in total, over $1 million so far. While it can be fun and fulfilling to help raise awareness for a variety of great causes, it’s not always feasible to donate money (no matter how much you want to).

Spreading the word, especially via social media, is still an effective tactic for supporting causes you care about. But sometimes, individually, we don’t have a huge social media following. Or it’s seemingly not very effective when our friends don’t care about the same things we do.

But you forget, Noveltiers. YOU ARE WRITERS!

Believe it or not, not everyone on the planet can do what you do as amazingly as you do it. In much of the world, writing is a necessary functional skill. But writing well is an acquired skill, one, it just so happens, you can use to help raise money for charities supporting causes you care about.

How so? Glad you asked.

Start a blog about your cause

Not necessarily about a specific charity – they probably have their own blog already. But if there’s a cause you love, such as hunger relief, it’s likely there’s probably more than one charity that supports that one general cause. You can highlight different charities, educate the internet about world hunger and help people just like you get more involved, all by using your writing skills.

Self-publish and donate the proceeds

Storytelling can get the point across more effectively than you might realize. If you’re passionate about a cause, even if you haven’t dealt with it firsthand, you can use your creativity (and hopefully some good journalism skills) to tell stories that highlight why supporting that cause is important. The beauty of self-publishing is that you can write those stories, put them online and do whatever you want with the money you raise. And you can put that money toward the cause your stories support.

Work behind-the-scenes on a video any time of the year

Video is a very powerful persuasive tool in the social media age. Project for Awesome takes place the second week of December every year, but you can make a video promoting one or multiple charities you love any time of year. You don’t even have to be on camera or speak if that’s not your thing. Writing a killer script is the key to any great promotional content, and of course, if you can tell a good story, that’s really all that counts.

See? No monetary donations required. Just your ideas and your words.

You can watch Meg’s P4A2015 video here and vote for it here.

Image courtesy of Project for Awesome.

Project for Awesome 2015: National Novel Writing Month


Never underestimate the power of a good story.

I’ve been looking forward to P4A2015 for a long time. I’ve never gotten the opportunity or known enough about it to participate until this year. I originally planned to promote another organization supporting a completely different cause. Then Sarah Mackey over at NaNoWriMo asked the regional MLs (myself included) if we wanted to take “a few minutes” to make a video for an organization we were, in one way or another, already promoting anyway.

So I thought, “What the heck. Why not?”

I had no idea that, without even donating to P4A (I literally can’t afford to this year, and I wish with all my heart that I could), Project for Awesome would completely change the way I appreciate the charity that has supported me, in many ways, for the past eight years.

I didn’t expect to spend over eight hours scripting, filming and editing a video.

I didn’t expect to tell any part of my story.

I didn’t expect to cry, okay? Especially not on camera.

Philanthropy is often heavily criticized for its dependence on narcissism (I just wrote a paper on this, so bear with me). From some points of view, doing any kind of promotion to support a good cause, and making it “about you” at the same time, defeats the purpose. Before I started working on his project, and as I wrote that paper, I agreed. But then I realized something pretty important.

Just because you’re telling your story doesn’t mean it has to be all about you.

We all go though things. We make mistakes, we learn lessons, we lose people, we fall in love. When we open up and talk about these things (and spend way too many hours hearing the same story played back over and over again), it starts to seem pointless. “Why does anyone need to hear this? It doesn’t matter.”

But it DOES matter. Everyone has a story, and EVERYONE’S STORY MATTERS.

My story probably won’t mean very much to very many people, but it’s not about me. It never is about me. What’s important is there’s someone out there, maybe even just one person out of billions, who will relate to this, or who will be inspired by it. Who will be hearing about NaNoWriMo for the first time. Who will finally be given the opportunity to put their ideas into words and let their story be heard.

That’s why I tell stories. In the hopes that someone, somewhere, will be affected in the most constructive, positive way possible.

You can hear my story, and all about National Novel Writing Month’s impact on my life, in my Project for Awesome 2015 video.

I’m just one person. One writer. It’s one story. But it counts. It’s important. And I hope, if you’re reading this, it reminds you that your story counts, too.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Learn more about National Novel Writing Month’s nonprofit efforts, and if you can, make a donation to Project for Awesome. All donations go toward multiple charity organizations around the world.

Image courtesy of Meg Dowell and Project for Awesome.