Since 1992, USA WEEKEND Magazine has given readers a powerful way to reach out and help others by getting involved in Make A Difference Day, the nation’s largest day of service. This powerful national program can be used in your local community to bring positive change. Here are a few ways newspapers and other media can benefit from participating.
Enhance Your Image in the Community
- Increase your presence in the community and strengthen relationships with your audience by sponsoring a worthwhile community project and encouraging them to participate.
- Raise awareness of issues, explore solutions, rally your community to action and celebrate local goodwill efforts.
- Ask current and potential advertisers to co-sponsor events, offering publicity as recognition for their contributions.
- Get students and NIE sponsors involved through your paper’s NIE program.
Spotlight local needs and heroes
Make A Difference Day provides two editorial opportunities to become a forum for solutions and action.
- Showcase upcoming events and encourage your audience to get involved. Be sure to tell your them to register their projects online in the project database. It’s also a great resource for you to find thousands of projects by ZIP-code or keyword. Direct volunteers to local projects with a schedule of upcoming events in your community calendar and a list of needed supplies.
- Each April, USA WEEKEND honors Make A Difference Day volunteers in our Annual Awards Issue. Ten National Honorees receive $10,000 from Newman’s Own and are featured in USA WEEKEND magazine. It’s the perfect time to focus on ways your audience made a difference in your community by profiling those who benefited from local projects.
Build readership and engagement
Newspaper readers are interested in everyday people who show extraordinary courage or goodwill. Give them the stories they’re looking for by celebrating local heroes who have made a positive impact on your community. Run stories of past successes and efforts in progress. Get maximum promotional power and circulation-building strength by coordinating your local coverage with this national event.
Social media is another avenue for engaging readers with Make A Difference Day. You can share Make A Difference Day’s posts on your timeline and ask readers to comment, share their own experiences or photos and video.
Make A Difference Day wants to see and promote your local coverage of the day. Be sure to use the hashtag or mention Make A Difference Day in your social media, and send us links to your coverage. If you have video on YouTube, share it with us so we can favorite it.
Give current and potential advertisers and NIE sponsors the opportunity to run ads relating to Make A Difference Day projects.
Businesses can show community support by advertising their participation in Make A Difference Day. Advertisers can sponsor local events, serve as donation drop-off points, or offer materials, services or facilities to volunteers. They also can support the effort by donating a portion of their day’s profits to charity.
Don’t forget your NIE sponsors! Make them a part of your community improvement effort and bring the theme of volunteering to the classroom. Newspapers that carry USA WEEKEND Magazine have free materials available in activity sets, weekly classroom guides and a special section. Please contact USA WEEKEND for more information.
- Cities of Service
In cities across the country, mayors make volunteering a priority. USA WEEKEND is teaming up with this multi-year effort to help promote service and create volunteering opportunities in cities nationwide. Encourage your readers to register their own Make A Difference Day project.
- Newman’s Own
Each year, 10 projects are honored on a national level and awarded $10,000 each from Newman’s Own.
- HandsOn Network and their Action Center affiliates
HandsOn Action Centers are key local resources for volunteer involvement. They bring people and community needs together through a range of programs and services based upon community needs, demographic area, population size and other factors. HandsOn Network inspires, equips, and mobilizes people to take action for positive change. At the center of the network are 250 affiliates, called HandsOn Action Centers that serve 83% of the American population and 11 international communities. HandsOn is also our partner for the project database an online database where you can find or register a local Make A Difference Day project. The project database is searchable by state, ZIP-code, or clickable map. Plus, you can download project tool kits to help you get started.
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