Action Courage

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Action Courage

United States
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Action Courage is the answer to filling the gap between ideas and action. We provide our clientele access to a database of connections and resources that will help breakdown many daunting and time-consuming barriers. We target students who have creative ideas but need an infrastructure to crystallize them. We will utilize information from various sources and compile them into an easily accessible, comprehensive archive. Whether a client needs a venue for a benefit concert, contacts to establish a campaign, or simply just to learn how to write a letter lobbying to congress, Action Courage is available to provide you with the courage to act.

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Venture Field

Youth Enrichment

Year of Venture Launch

2007

Name

Dina

Role in the Venture:

co-founder

Innovation
Venture Description:

Action Courage is the answer to filling the gap between ideas and action. We provide our clientele access to a database of connections and resources that will help breakdown many daunting and time-consuming barriers. We target students who have creative ideas but need an infrastructure to crystallize them. We will utilize information from various sources and compile them into an easily accessible, comprehensive archive. Whether a client needs a venue for a benefit concert, contacts to establish a campaign, or simply just to learn how to write a letter lobbying to congress, Action Courage is available to provide you with the courage to act.

Venture Origin:

With prior experience in activism, we understand how time consuming yet essential the researching process can be, even for the smallest task. After helping with a letter-writing campaign for Darfur, it was clear that the concern existed, but that people needed the resources brought directly to them. We hope to move even more students to act.

Innovation

The information exists for activists, but it is clear that compiling the information would be an invaluable tool, regardless of a particular activist's goals. Once a full database has been established, anyone will easily be able to connect with like-minded individuals, learn the options for holding an event/campaign, or even just how to write a letter. This direct contact can empower and inspire.

Impact
Impact:

<ul><li class="entry-label">Impact: <span class="entry-text">One NYU freshman wants to start a women?s group based on the goals of United Nations Fund for Women, and Action Courage has been active in supporting her and helping her realize her vision for the club. We have started working with two high school students in California start a more active, powerful campaign for Darfur. We provided another NYU student with a letter and contact information for her congressman to share her concern about Darfur.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Engagement with the community: <span class="entry-text">Besides the students with whom we are currently engaging, we have established contacts with employees at the Center for Student Life at NYU and are in the process of making contacts with event coordinators of various schools at NYU to make our services available to a wide range of students and to learn from the various events here on campus so we can pass more information on to clients.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Impact and engagement progress since launch: <span class="entry-text">We have gotten a very positive response from students and are now even more acutely aware of how often students wish they knew what else to do about a given situation. We have added to our database thus far: lists of congressmen/senators, link to student groups on campus, letter writing tools, lobbying techniques, and we continually add to our personal events calendars.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Impact and engagement strategy: <span class="entry-text">As our database grows, we will be even more helpful for future clients and with each person we come in contact with. We will gradually learn more and establish a larger network of engaged community members and active students. As we start to advertise through specific events on campus we find the concern that already exists, and then help to channel that concern using our resources.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Awards: <span class="entry-text">We have not yet received any awards besides the Youth Venture seed grant.</span></li></ul>

Budge:t

<ul><li class="entry-label">Amount of Youth Venture seed grant: <span class="entry-text">$920</span></li><li class="entry-label">Money raised: <span class="entry-text">In these preliminary stages, we have not yet needed more money. The researching we have initially does not require funds. </span></li><li class="entry-label">Creative ways of raising resources: <span class="entry-text">Because of the nature of Action Courage, the organization itself does not need as much money as its clients could potentially need for either an event or a campaign. For these cases, we have researched a number of grants and will help secure funding for the client depending on his or her cause. </span></li></ul>

Strategy:

<ul><li class="entry-label">Expansion plan for next 6 months: <span class="entry-text">Within the next month, we will start producing postcards which we will use for advertisement at events on campus. Even without advertisements, we have been able to find clients, so it is clear that the need for our services is a pressing one. </span></li><li class="entry-label">Plans for sustaining the project: <span class="entry-text">Action Courage is self-sustaining because it remains pertinent to the needs of activists. To ensure a strong leadership, we will advertise on our postcards opportunities for involvement. Past clients, transfer students, or even social work students could potentially serve as employees.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Vision for three years from now: <span class="entry-text">Action Courage will still be adding to its database and providing resources to students. We hope to work with high school students in New York and provide them with resources not immediately available. We will have made activism itself more efficient and accessible. Hopefully, we will have stimulated more activism than would have occurred without the help of Action Courage.</span></li></ul>

Project impact:

We are working to improve the advocacy community and therefore ultimately benefiting the collective community. Through the database that we are providing, advocates at every level of experience and dedication will be able to manifest greater accomplishments in a more efficient, more effective manner. Instead of each impassioned individual constantly enduring the same research, the same bureaucracy, we will establish a means of streamlining the process. Essentially, we are bringing a private sector idea of opportunity cost into the non-profit realm. What if we do not have the research needed for an interested client? How is our researching more efficient than his/hers? This situation presents a valued opportunity to broaden our own database. Even with the need for new research, our efforts will be less time consuming than the individual advocates? because we have an already established the means of acquiring information through our contacts, which could be applied to virtually any cause. We will provide resources for any level of involvement needed by the client. At a basic level, for example, we will work with one person who wants to write a letter to his/her senator. We will have contacts to all senators, information on what to include in his/her letter as well as how the senator has voted on the issue in the past. Another possible level of involvement will be interest in a one time event such as a fundraiser, lecture or movie screening. These events are difficult for students to organize due to the bureaucracy of the university structure. We would provide the tools from our connection, and possible partnership, with the Office of Student Activities to locate venues and provide promotion and co-sponsors for the event. The most involved level would entail a taskforce for a long-term campaign, which under the umbrella of Action Courage would have all the aforementioned resources as well as an additional means of funding to pursue its cause.

Sustainability
Youth Venture movement - what it means and how you can contribute:

Participating in the Youth Venture movement is extremely important because it implies that our generation really has the potential to explore and establish areas left ignored by generations before us. It is powerful for us to know that so many young people want to impact the world, ensuring us that we will never run out of resources for advice, knowledge, and support. The idea of student initiative is also extremely important for Action Courage because we are established on the basis that the concerns and desires of our generation sometimes simply need an extra push to actually fully manifest. Just as Youth Venture has already helped us to start realizing our vision, we hope to give others the courage to act. Working at a very personal level, we are demonstrating to other students that everything they need to act is actually sitting right in front of them, and it is only a matter of finding it. While we believe in the dedication and initiative of our peers, we also realize the struggles that walk hand in hand with activism. These obstacles create a gap between what we wish we could do and what we actually act upon. This gap is created when impassioned individuals are unable to manifest their sympathy for a cause because either they don?t have the resources, don?t know where to find existing resources, or don?t feel they have the time to individually run a venture. Action Courage will not only promote the Youth Venture movement, it will also strengthen and diversify its members. The clients of Action Courage will realize the importance of taking the initiative to act, and they will also understand that the hardships are not inevitable. The more youth recognize the opportunities and connections that are intrinsic to the Youth Venture movement, hardly anyone will resist the temptation to act.