Step 1: Find a project.
Look around your community. Are people hungry, homeless or ill? Are parks or schools dirty or neglected? No matter where you live, there’s a need nearby. And on Make A Difference Day, millions of Americans are expected to roll up their sleeves to help others. You can act alone or enlist your friends, family and co-workers. Thousands of people across the community can band together.
Get ideas by reading your local newspaper, contacting a volunteer center and searching serve.gov. Look at past honorees and check out the project database to see what others have done or are doing. Connect with neighbors, civic, school and spiritual groups.
Here are a few resources:
- Interactive brochure (or download the PDF)
- Volunteer Leader Guide
- Youth Tool Kit
- Project Database
- You can also call the Make A Difference Day Hot Line, 1-800-416-3824, for information.
Step 2: Register your project to get the word out and enlist help.
Several weeks before the day, register your plans in the Make A Difference project database, a national listing of local projects that will be viewed by interested volunteers, other people looking for good project ideas and news media looking for good stories to tell. It will only take a few minutes to register your plans in the project database hosted by HandsOn Network.
Use the Marketing Guide for step-by-step how-to’s on spreading the word about your project and enlist help.
Don’t forget to use social media to raise awareness of your efforts and recruit help. Your project page in the DAYtaBANK will have buttons to share your project across all sorts of social networks, as well as to email friends. Be sure to ask your friends to “like” your project page, and you can post on the MDDay Facebook page. On Twitter, be sure to use the hashtag #mdday12, so everyone can see your tweets!
Step 3: Do it!
Carry out your plans to help others on Make A Difference Day, the fourth Saturday in October. Be sure to take lots of pictures and share them on the Make A Difference Day photo album and share them on Facebook. You can share video with the Make A Difference Day channel on YouTube, and we’ll favorite them.
Step 4: Report your results for national recognition.
After completing your project, fill out a simple form describing what took place and the impact you witnessed. The form is available for download, or you can update your project in the DAYtaBANK with the results. Be sure to submit your entry before the deadline. Judges will select 10 projects for the national Make A Difference Day Awards.
The awards include $10,000 donations to 10 projects from Newman’s Own. A $10,000 All-Star Award funded by the Gannett Foundation and USA WEEKEND will go to a former national honoree who shows continued excellence in volunteerism.
USA WEEKEND Magazine will feature 10 National and three City Award honorees in a special April issue coinciding with National Volunteer Week, led by Points of Light Institute. Award honorees will receive their awards that month at an event in Washington, D.C.
Step 5: Look at all the good!
See what participants are posting to the MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY FACEBOOK PAGE.
See what participants are posting to the MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY YOUTUBE CHANNEL and post your videos. Be sure to share them with Make A Difference Day, so we can favorite them!
- Facebook Tips & Tricks for Make A Difference Day
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- Post a project, get involved!
- Port Huron projects eligible for $5,000 grant
- Make a difference ANY day!
- Members of Congress recognize our National Honorees
- Waukegan school playground honored by Make a Difference Day
- Honorees recognized by The White House
- From The White House blog: Volunteers to the rescue
- From The White House blog: The BIG DIG inspires community pride