Stand Up, Take Action: Make Noise for the MDGs! Global National Outreach Weekend Planning Guide

July 19, 2010

September 17-19, 2010

What’s the Big Idea?

Stand Up, Take Action: Make Noise for the MDGs is a worldwide awareness and action-taking weekend for the end of poverty.  Individuals and groups all over the world choose to create and take part in a variety of different community events – Stand Up events – every year to make their voices heard and move the planet that much closer to putting poverty in the history books.  

This year, however, is a little different.  Instead of having Stand Up weekend happen around the time of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17th) as it usually does, Stand Up weekend will happen right before the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit. Stand Up weekend for the end of poverty has taken on many themes over time; this year, the theme is the achievement of the MDGs.

We believe that continuing to work toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 is critical to a dignified, hopeful future for our planet.  Even though we struggle to see the kind of progress toward the achievement of the MDGs that we ought to be seeing, the Goals remain a sound, inspiring roadmap for our way ahead in eradicating poverty.

That’s why your continued advocacy is so important.

So why not consider using the Stand Up, Take Action weekend to create a memorable and powerful event in your community? This guide will help you from concept to follow-up.

Start Planning Now!  September 17-19 will be here before we know it!

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

Getting clear on this question is your important first move in the planning process.  Essentially, you want your event to make your community aware of RESULTS and to bring your group new partners and donors.  But on a larger scale, you want the power of your event’s focus and message to help “move the needle” on our nation’s commitment to pursuing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. So set your aspirational targets high, both for the growth of your group and for progress in our campaign to reach the MDGs.

Your Event Agenda

This is where your creativity gets to shine. Because you are a RESULTS advocate, you have ideas, resources, and connections to create a fun, informative, impact event appropriate for your community context. So take time now to brainstorm what great thing(s) you might do.  

A great Stand Up weekend activity will incorporate two elements: education and action.  For many people, the MDGs will be a new idea. You have the chance to inform your community on what the MDGs are – what the 8 points are, how they came to be, and why it’s so crucial for the world not to give up on them. You can explain why world needs to keep embracing them as a blueprint for how we can move forward on eradicating poverty.

After you educate your audience, then, you can rally your community’s voice to tell world leaders that the MDGs must stay at the forefront of foreign policy and global cooperation if we are to create a viable, sustainable, promising future for our planet. Taking action is the exciting part of any advocacy event, and you will want to offer your community the chance to get in the game.

So what kinds of events can you create to offer your neighborhood or town the chance to stand up and take action for the MDGs? Ideas are limited only by your imagination.

Here’s a starter list of ideas:

  1. Film screening  – suggested films include The Millennium Goals: Dream or Reality?, The End of Poverty?, The Girl in the Cafe (touches on the MDGs), A Small Act (related to our education for all campaign), and The Lazarus Effect (related to HIV/AIDS)
  2. Music concert
  3. Art fair
  4. Fair trade bazaar
  5. Radio or t.v. spot
  6. Online action organized through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  7. Letter-writing table at a farmer’s market
  8. Children’s activity day at a local park
  9. Talk at your house of worship
  10. Coffee chat featuring a speaker
  11. Panel at a local college
  12. In-district meeting with your member of Congress’ office
  13. Photo of a banner or mural made for the occation, sent to your legislators’ office or to your local paper
  14. School lesson or assembly
  15. Article for a faith community newsletter
  16. Information table at a community festival
  17. Fundraiser to benefit RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund

Consider adding these powerful elements to your event plan:

  • A photo-op showing how your group is “standing up” together, signifying collective will and action for the end of poverty.
  • Your personal stories to describe your activism journey with RESULTS. Your guests will be inspired! 
  • DVD or story on problems/solutions — a way to get people focused on the issues. Your group leader should already have a Global Campaigns DVD for use by your group. If you need a copy, contact Lisa Marchal at 317-529-5182. (Try our website for additional powerful issue-based stories related to our health, education, and economic opportunity campaigns. You might also visit The Living Proof Project, produced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for stories.)
  • A viewing of Everyday Heroes, our tale of the power and success of RESULTS!
  • Action for the event (letter-writing, laser talk to learn, planning for an in-district meeting with your member of Congress, etc.). You will be able to use the September Global Action Sheet for this purpose. To find other great ideas for your action, visit our global poverty campaigns page and our global actions pages to learn more about global poverty and how you can take steps to create change.
  • A powerful invitation to join your group and become a donor to RESULTS. Use this Participation Form to sign up new partners and donors.
  • A RESULTS brochure or fact sheet (printable, under Outreach Resources), a Basics CD, and an invitation to the New Activist Orientation four-week series beginning in mid-September. Folks can sign up with Lisa Marchal at 317-529-5182. These pieces are helpful for both new partners and new donors. You can also order a set of 20 beautiful color tri-fold brochures celebrating 30 years of RESULTS by contacting Cynthia Stancil at 202-783-7100, ext. 0.

Other ideas and tips:

  • Particularly if your event is on September 18th, during the heart of the weekend, incorporate some sort of noise-making into your activity: bells ringing out, singing, drumming circle, or vuvuzelas like you heard during the World Cup!  You can even check out the Stand Up, Take Action website for a mobile phone application that will help you make noise.
  • Have greeters, food, and beverages on hand. Nothing warms up an event like old-fashioned hospitality!
  • If you are having an event that is more free-flowing rather than one that has a firm internal agenda, be strategic about when you will invite guests to join/donate to RESULTS. Don’t cheat yourself by leaving the invitation until the end when people are bustling to leave!


Before the Event

In 2000, all countries of the United Nations came together to design and implement an exciting new road map to end poverty – the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These eight goals seek to address the most pressing problems facing the world’s poor — hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, sanitation, and water — while promoting gender equity, education, economic inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Unfortunately, the world is not on track to achieve the MDGs by the target date of 2015, but there is optimism that real movement toward the achievement of the goals can still be accomplished.

To highlight the goal to achieve the MDGs, citizens around the world are participating in the “Stand Up, Take Action: Make Noise for the MDGs” action weekend that will be held September 17-19. Last year, 173 million people stood up for the end of poverty, and to be part of this year’s global commitment, the RESULTS group of XXXXXX is presenting a XXXXXX . . .

  • Arrange an event photographer or videographer  – either from within your group or from the local media – to capture the moment when your crowd is “Standing Up” against poverty. Submit personal photos to Lesley Reed for use on our website or in our publications. (Note in your agenda to get permissions from photo subjects.)
  • Contact the DC office (202-783-7100) for copies of the 2010 Basics CDs to distribute to those who would like to join RESULTS.
  • Pre-print copies of the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Pre-print copies of the RESULTS Participation Form in anticipation of folks who would like to become RESULTS partners/donors!
  • Register your event at the Stand Up, Take Action main website.
  • Check out Stand Up Meet-ups and register your event.

Getting People to Your Event

Sample Inviting Laser Talk

Hi, XXX! I’m calling to invite you to an event I’m co-hosting this September XXX. I think I’ve mentioned to you before that I’m part of a group called RESULTS. RESULTS is a grassroots advocacy made up of several hundred volunteers all across the country, and we’re committed to creating the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty. I really love it, not just because we get to learn more about the root causes of hunger and poverty, but because we learn about practical, proven solutions and how to talk about them in the community as well as advocate for them with our members of Congress. I got involved with RESULTS in XXXXX, and I stick with it because it has helped me/allowed me to XXXXXXXXX.

On September XXXXX, I’m helping put on a XXXXXXX. Would you be interested in hearing a bit more about it? I’d love to have you there and to even have you bring friends.

Guest/Inviting Tracking Form to help you make the most of your inviting process.

Here’s some video of all the people that came out to the RESULTS TX stand up event!


After Your Event

  • Mail your Participation Forms to the DC office (1730 Rhode Island Ave NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036).
  • Report your event on the Stand Up, Take Action website and to your Regional Coordinator.
  • Send RESULTS thank you cards to participants, donors, vendors, etc. and add new partners to your group roster while also making sure new folks have all the information they need to attend your next RESULTS meeting.
  • Remind guests of the New Activist Orientation and make a note in your calendar to check on those in your groups who have indicated that they’ll be participating.
  • Celebrate a job well done.

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