I remember creating my LinkedIn profile, there is a part on LinkedIn profile, in which people have to answer the question of the cause that they support. I remember reading a commencement speech or kind of inspirational speech for young people, in which there exists a part saying that you should pick up someone to love and choose a cause to support. A cause to support, simply put, is something that you thought that it should be improved like: poverty, gender inequality, free arts or youth unemployment, etc. On determining the cause that you are about to support, you can determine your own way to fulfill your own ideal world, you can paint the world in the way you like.
To many young students whom I know in my student life, I am afraid that not much people think about the cause that they support when they enter into an organization. Lots of people are excited about more lines to be added in their curriculum vitae, some skills they may learn during organizing events, or excellent people they will have chances to network rather than the causes underlying this initiative or organization. In fact, I also have not much idea about the cause that I support until I enter my third year at university. I started understanding about the mission that my club is about to deliver, I met new people from other universities and was enlightened up about the cause to support.
A cause to support should be considered an important point when ones decide to enter into a non-profit organization. Many freshmen are eager to apply into many clubs in my university every year but a few students stay there for long and there is an increasing trend among young students that they will leave their organization after 1 year or 2 years to seek for new opportunities to develop themselves and some just considers this organization kind of stepping stone for them to gain skills to move on. I am not meant to criticize them as people have lots of interest to chase for and it is very reasonable for them to chase for new opportunities when it comes. If they find any new opportunity to perfect their own skill set, they are encouraged to do so. However, if they move from organization to organization without understanding the real cause that this organization to support, (or the mission this organization is to deliver), they will hardly adopt new skills but only organizing skills (logistics, interpersonal, teamwork, etc.). Strategic mindset is something I suppose to be the most important, which will be surely missed by these ones.
There are also lots of events organized by student clubs nowadays but I think that few organizers thought about the impacts to be generated. People held lots of entrepreneur competitions for students and few students use the prize granted to start up. People held lots of workshops, conferences, boot camps on a wide variety of topic: environment, gender equality, etc. but few participants will apply what they learn in these workshops to inspire more people to support the causes of these events. Sometimes, the results of these workshops are participants getting to know more people of their same ages, forming another circle of the “elite students”, who possess great English skills (enough to fill in these applications), great eloquence skills (to pass the interview if needed), and a long list of attendance in such international workshops, events in their CVs. They will soon be considered to be excellent students, potential leaders, who will soon enter into their corporate ladders and forget things conveyed in these events.
Leaders of these student-run organizations should think about the cause of their organization so that they could find ways to inspire their members, find right members, acquire and retain them. Many newly-established organizations among youth in Vietnam often disappear after few years existing on this planet because of lacks of missions, lack of commitment of the leaders, or leaders’s inability to inspire other members to support this cause. Once people don’t feel like the cause, they will sooner or later leave the organization. Leaders should also think of the way to engage the members so that they could understand clearly about the causes or mission of their organizations. Many organizations are now divided into separate departments with separate functions like a corporate (finance, PR, business development, etc.) and all the important strategic decisions are made by the head of departments only, which will surely discourage some members as they just execute the same operational tasks day by day. Therefore, in my opinion, think about a cause to support is very important for leaders to know how to engage them into their organizations and motivate them to contribute their efforts to the success of this organization in its way to fulfilling this cause.
So what is the cause you choose to support?