Engage through fun activities

There are basically three types of reasons why people would engage with your project:
1. self-interested or safety-related motives (like saving money or caring for the family)
2. social motives (like belonging to a group or being respected by others)
3. moral or self-actualizing motives (like saving the environment or solving problems)

People respond to these different motives differently – for example, belonging to a group may be more important for younger than for older people. The different motives are also often evoked in different situations. Fun activities can be one way to engage people in an easy and non-committing way and ‘gain a foot in the doorstep’ for your project just because people enjoy being creative or like the activity for its own sake. Because people also have different preferences in how to do things, fun activities can be both individual activities as well as activities performed with a group of people.

What you need to do: 

Here are examples of fun activities:

  • Games, e.g. quizzes, sports….
  • Concerts, plays, street theatre…
  • Experiments, e.g. testing energy-saving devices, images or slogans…
  • Crafts, e.g. making art works, design the ‘ideal neigbhourhood’, community action day, planting trees, swapping clothes, books, etc.
When does it work?: 

Fun activities are not likely to make a big impact on anyone’s decisions. They are a way to make contact with people who are otherwise not so easy to reach and get them engaged in a small way. They are more suitable:

  • to get people interested rather than to actually get them to make changes in their everyday life
  • to promote small actions rather than to influence large decisions, e.g. investments
  • to raise awareness rather than to change people’s opinions
  • to engage people who are ‘in the middle’ rather than those who are strong supporters or opponents of your project’s aims
What do you need to look out for: 
► Make sure your fun activities are well planned and enjoyable.
► Make sure your target group can participate in the activities (e.g. in case of elderly/disabled people)
► Don’t lose track of your original aims and become a full-time fun-organizer