NOW Schedule About
Enterprising Ideas - Social Entrepreneurs at Work
Home Stories Project Enterprise Get Involved Blog What is a Social Entrepreneur For Educators

Community Outreach

NOW's Enterprising Ideas stories fill people with hope, and hope is contagious. Help us spread inspiration farther and wider than any one of us can do alone. Our goal is not only to empower individuals and groups, but help their efforts to motivate other individuals and communities through positive — and purposeful — word of mouth.

Here are some ways to get the word out, using both old and new media techniques:

Let us know about your experiences reaching out to your communities by e-mailing

Add the Enterprising Idea Button to Your Blog or Website

Spread the word about the Enterprising Ideas website and TV series by adding a button to your website or blog or emails directing visitors to

Add the Enterprising Idea Button to Your Blog or Website

Add the Enterprising Idea Button to Your Blog or Website

Invite a Local Entrepreneur to Speak

If you know someone making a difference in your community using a novel business approach, get his or her permission to contact local libraries, bookstores, religious institutions, local public affairs television programs, and schools to see whether the entrepreneur can talk about his or her local mission, passion and success. You might already be involved in a social group that could benefit from the social entrepreneur's insight and experiences.

Share Our Stories

Use social networking and news collection sites like Digg, StumbledUpon, and Newsvine to share the information you experience on this website by recommending it. Just use the social networking toolbar at the bottom of each page. This is what it looks like:

Social tool bar

Host a Viewing Party

Do you belong to a community group? Professional association? Alumni group? Church, synagogue or mosque group? All are perfect vehicles for hosting a viewing party of NOW on PBS will be airing one Enterprising Ideas broadcast each month. Click here for the program schedule. What's a Viewing Party? The idea behind the viewing parties is to get friends, families and coworkers to discuss the ideas of social entrepreneurship, and especially how everyone can make a difference. If you can't schedule one around the live broadcast date, you can order episodes on DVD through ShopPBS.

Suggestions for a Viewing Party

An Enterprising Ideas viewing party is meant to be interesting, social and enlightening, so make the event as comfortable as possible.

Invite people via e-mail at least two weeks in advance and ask for RSVPs. If you're ambitious, you can also make an announcement in your local newspaper or community website, or invite community groups and local book clubs.

If you plan on collecting donations on behalf of a cause, let guests know in advance.

Provide or have your guests provide snacks and drinks as appropriate. We suggest the Brancaccio Focaccia : )

Create a comfortable atmosphere for viewing — pillows, comfy chairs and couches — enough for each guest.

After the show, use some simple discussion starters:

  1. Is the social problem being tackled one that exists in your own community?
  2. Do you think the enterprising idea will succeed or fail and why?
  3. What mechanisms could be put in place in your own community to tackle social problems?
  4. What's the responsibility of American citizens to help make the world better? Are we making good on President Kennedy's call to "ask not what you country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"?
  5. "We must take a businesslike approach to the business of development. Otherwise, we are going to be locked forever in this cycle of handouts and giveaways," says Martin Fisher, the founder of ApproTEC.

How important is a business approach to solving social problems?

At the evening's end, talk about the cause for which you're soliciting donations of time or money. Describe your passion for the mission and your reasons for optimism.

Collect updated contact information for the next Viewing Party... and make sure someone else goes home with the rutabaga casserole.

Do you belong to a community group? Host a viewing party of NOW's Enterprising Ideas series.

Enterprising Ideas is a project of NOW on PBS, with support from:

PBS Foundation
Skoll Foundation