Five Guidelines for a Better World
Do Something espouses five "guidelines to live by." These form the pillars of the organization’s philosophy.
- Kids lead.
- Kids decide.
- Measurable impact.
The organization is by young people, for young people. While adult participation is welcome, it is by no means required. Do Something encourages young people to see themselves not as the leaders of tomorrow, but as the leaders of today. On the Web site, there's a section specifically for interested adults who want to get involved. It's labeled "Old People."
Do Something isn't just some organization where young people have a say; they have THE say. While another organization may be led by a seasoned activist in the ‘50s who is getting the next generation involved, Do Something IS that generation and is massively involved and dedicated. Members like to say they're pro-choice… kid-choice, that is.
Do Something is about results. Are you actually going out and making a difference? For some causes, results are easy to find. You've changed a law, helped X number of kids to get off the streets, or built a computer lab in an impoverished area. But other causes are not so simple. What if your cause is the struggle against global warming? Do you have to sit around and wait for the global temperature to drop half a degree before you know if you've accomplished anything? Of course not -- results can be measured in how many people you've spoken to or how many signatures you've collected. As long as there's some level of measurable impact, you're doing good work.
… As in no money required. No dues. No starter fees. Nothing. Social change is not something that should be limited in any way. Likewise, the organization has a "no car needed" rule. Anyone who wants to get involved should be able to do so regardless of his or her financial situation. If you have a ton of money to invest in a cause, fantastic. If not, no worries. You can still make a tremendous change in the world. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm and inspiration.
Do Something is a not-for-profit Internet company. The soul of the organization is the Web site, located at www.dosomething.org. Here, young people from all over the world gather to exchange ideas and get things moving. If it can't be done online … find a way to do it online. This is the Internet age, and Do Something is the Internet destination for social change in the world.
Taken together, these guidelines help Do Something ensure that the community action the group inspires is both empowering and accessible to the target demographic of young people.