Have you ever helped an elderly person cross the street? Or given to charity? Or volunteered at your local food bank? All of those are good examples of how many of us make the effort to give back to our communities. But some places in the world are more generous than others, and different people like to give back in different ways.
Gallup recently released a report on individual giving. The results? Benevolence and philanthropy are alive and well, and billions of people around the world are giving back to their communities. Here is Gallup’s list of the top 10 countries with the highest Civic Engagement Index:*
8. United Kingdom
5. Sri Lanka
4. New Zealand
2. United States
The Gallup report looked at three of the most common ways of giving back to the community: helping a stranger, donating money, and volunteering for an organization. But there are more than just those. Here are a few other ways you can give back.
Have you eaten at a new local restaurant you liked or shopped at a new local store you loved? Tell people about it. That may seem like little, but word-of-mouth advertising is often the only advertising local businesses can afford. And since helping local businesses helps the local economy, you’re helping the community when you tell others where you like to eat and shop.
Any time you host an event, many of your guests will feel obliged to bring something as a show of thanks. Instead of collecting things you don’t need, you can ask your guests to show their appreciation by bringing canned foods for a food drive. You can even talk to your kids about turning their birthday parties into food drives. Many kids—particularly those who already have plenty of toys—will get more out of giving than they will out of getting.
Crowdfunding has opened a whole new avenue for fundraising and has made it possible for any of us to become fundraisers. If you have a friend in need or know of family who could use some help after an accident or tragedy, you can start a crowdfunding campaign online, making it easy for others to give to those in need.
For many people around the world, the local neighborhood is their most important community. So why not give back to that community by planning a gathering? You can get people to volunteer to bring food and drinks, and others to provide entertainment. It’s a great way to show your appreciation for your neighbors.
If you live in a nation where service workers depend on tips to make ends meet, you should endeavor to tip well. It’s one of the easiest ways to give more back to your community. Plus, it’s an excellent way of acknowledging the importance of the work others do on your behalf.
You don’t have to volunteer in a major cleanup initiative to keep your community clean. If you see trash on the sidewalk or against the curb, pick it up and throw it out. If everyone made the effort to pick up the trash they see, imagine how much cleaner the world would be.
Although Gallup finds a strong connection between the Civic Engagement Index and per capita GDP, the countries with the most civically engaged populations in the world are not necessarily the richest.* That suggests that if you want to build a giving community, you should start by building a well-functioning one. And one of the best ways to do that is through public administration.
If you want the kind of public administration job that can help you build a community that gives back, you should consider earning a Master of Public Administration (MPA). When you enroll in an MPA program, you can gain the knowledge and skills you need to deliver to citizens the services they deserve in a manner that is transparent, efficient, and ethical.
Thanks to online education, you don’t even have to upend your life to earn your MPA degree. Through an online MPA program, you can complete classes and coursework on a schedule that allows you to keep working full time in your current job. This makes an online MPA degree a fantastic choice for working adults who want to improve their career possibilities. It also makes an online MPA degree a great choice for anyone who wants to play a role in building a giving community.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online Master of Public Administration degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*J. Ray, Billions Worldwide Help Others in Need, Gallup, on the internet at www.gallup.com/poll/195659/billions-worldwide-help-others-need.aspx?g_source=World&g_medium=newsfeed&g_campaign=tiles.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.