Civil society is broad ranging. It includes social supports such as charities. It extends to the work of trade unions. Often overlooked is the activity of associations and clubs. All of this is fundamental to healthy communities.
Our interest, in this work, is in another often neglected part of civil society. We refer to it as pure civil society. This is activity that:
- brings strangers together
- on a purely voluntary basis
- respecting their agency
- to do good (as defined by those taking part) for their community
- without any money changing hands, and
- without any formal organisation to manage the work.
There was a surge in pure civil society activity during the pandemic. It is primarily organic, ebbing and flowing according to the changing conditions in communities.
One of the shared challenges for the design of Give a Day is how to maintain the purity of the approach across multiple places.