Well-dressed women in evening gowns, flashbulbs, and fancy hors-d’oeuvres. This is not just on the red carpet. A lot of charity events these days also feature glitz and glamour galore. I am a huge proponent of helping others and I also think it is important to work hard to be a “social light” rather than a “socialite.” A socialite is someone who spends more on her dress for the charity event than she does for her ticket or on pledges or raffle tickets to raise money. A “social light” is someone who goes to events because she wants to make a difference and cares about the cause.
Going to events should be about raising the profile of the charity and getting as many donations as possible. I know that sometimes you might need to attend an event for work. Maybe you bought a ticket to a friends activity even though you may not care about the cause very much. Not everyone has oodles of money to give but if you have a bit extra, be sure to give and get engaged.
It’s also crucial to learn more about the cause you are supporting. A socialite would show up to the opening of a refrigerator. A social light takes time to learn more about the charity. This means knowing who is running the organisation, which areas they support, and whether they have a good reputation. Many people have been caught out by not doing their homework and inadvertently funding scams. This happens to people at lavish golf outings and individuals giving spare change to a charity collection box.
At the end of the day, being a social light is about a long-term conviction to making the world a better place. No one questions Angelina Jolie’s commitment to human rights or blinks when Leonardo Dicaprio talks about the environment. This is because they have spoken out about these causes over time, so they have credibility.
In the end, it’s about supporting a cause because of care, not ego!
3 Tips for being the best social light possible
1 – Take time to learn more about the charity and the work it does. Are you funding a legitimate organisation? Even celebs get caught up in scams sometimes. Take five minutes to research the organisation online using a news checker or a tool like Charity Navigator.
2 – Think about how much you are spending to make yourself look good vs. how much you are giving to help others. Even if you give £100,000 and wear a £5,000 dress, it could come off as tacky. Don’t believe me? Just ask Lousie Linton…
3 – Share details about solid charities and events on your social media pages. Do you have a big following? A huge Christmas list? A massive list of friendly Whatsapp chats? Don’t hide your light under a bushel…tell people about the good work being done by positive organisations.