Investigation: Finding Out About Your Cause


Know Your Interests, Skills and Talents

The best place to begin is with you. Take a “Personal Inventory” to assess your interests, skills and talents, and even how you want to grow. Working with others? Get everyone together and interview each other. Draw from your collective abilities throughout the campaign process!

Download a “Personal Inventory” worksheet now.


Select Your Cause

Your cause is the inspiration behind your campaign. Set aside some time to consider:

  • What issues are important to you?
  • Is there a cause in particular that you have a personal connection with, or that speaks to your heart?

Visit Why I Serve to post your reason for wanting to make the world a better place. Will you submit writing, video or art? Your choice! Be inspired by other students’ expressions of their reasons to serve.


Do Your Research

Let’s say your cause is homelessness. How can you best support this cause? Begin by finding our more about the issue through action research using four key approaches: media, interviews of experts, survey of varied populations, and direct observation and experiences. Sample questions to find answers to:

  • What is going well in the community related to meeting the needs of people who are homeless?
  • Who in the community can help you learn more about the needs of people who are homeless? A newspaper reporter covering the topic? A director of a homeless shelter? A person who has been or is currently homeless?
  • What organizations are tackling this problem? What help do they need – time and talents? Funding? Something else?

Download two documents to assist you: Mapping The Community to keep track of what you find out about community assets and needs related to your topic, and What Governments & Organizations Are Doing About ___ to review what else is being done to mitigate or eliminate the problem on local, regional, national, and international levels.

IdeaPress the “pause” button now and then to think about what you learned during investigation. Any surprises? Any ideas percolating for taking action?


 Next Up: Preparation – Planning Your Campaign