Interest groups raise awareness of the desires of a group of people to disseminate ideas to broader audiences. Interest groups can represent any number of particular wishes. Some interest groups represent charities or support environmental protection.
The World Wildlife Fund is an interest group that advocates protection of natural resources and helps spread awareness of threats to nature. Interest groups also arise to support certain political causes; the National Rifle Association is a massive interest group that advocates gun rights and lobbies strongly against any infringements on these rights. Interest groups can also represent a particular geographical or economic group. Neighborhood associations are interest groups that form to ensure the needs of the neighborhood are understood and addressed.
When an interest group wants to further its agenda, there are several methods it can take. To work toward laws that match the group's interests, it can lobby to politicians in an attempt to sway their votes. To increase public awareness, the group can engage in public campaigns that make its cause more visible through advertisements, newspaper editorials or personal contact with others. Although the term interest group is often thought to be strictly political, there are many non-political routes that an interest group can take to further its cause.