WE tv Campaign Volunteers Its Viewers to Help Nonprofits

Mar 15, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Women’s network WE tv is ratcheting up its public service efforts.
It’s launching a campaign urging viewers to volunteer their time to local causes. When it visits ad agencies and clients to make its upfront pitch, instead of handing out premiums it will be making donations.
WE Volunteer website
Cosmetics company Stila and VolunteerMatch are working with the network on the campaign, WE Volunteer, launching April 1. Unlike the previous campaign under the WE Empowers Women banner, which lasted one year, WE Volunteer is planned as a three-year endeavor.
WE President and General Manager Kim Martin said the effort suits the times.
“It says that the network really understands what are the concerns and issues of young women today,” she said.
The campaign uses the slogan “What a Difference a Day Makes.”
“The idea is that if every—we’d like to say every woman, but we’re going to say every WE tv viewer—were to take one full day, in other words 24 hours, and volunteer in their community, boy, what a difference that would make,” Ms. Martin said.
Going into the upfront, WE tv is becoming more of a factor in the women’s market. The network ranked 45th among ad-supported cable networks in total primetime viewers in 2008. By comparison, women’s leader Lifetime ranked No. 7. But in the first quarter of 2009 so far, WE’s ratings are up 9% among women 25 to 54, which is an achievement considering they shot up 38% a year ago.
“We are beating our numbers from last year, which means we’re in a really good place,” Ms. Martin said.
The network launches a second season of its series “The Locator” on March 21.
WE is working with VolunteerMatch on the WE Volunteer project. The organization will be setting up a Web site for the network called WEvolunteer.tv, where viewers can find places to volunteer and keep track of how many hours they’ve put in, how many hours their company has put in and how many hours the various nonprofits have received.
“We feel strongly that if women are actually tracking their volunteer hours, they’re more inclined to volunteer more hours,” Ms. Martin said. Individuals’ totals aren’t made public on the site.
“The goal is to be motivating, but not to put you on the spot,” she said.
Stila, the cosmetics company, has signed on as a promotional partner. Stila is offering people who sign up to volunteer on the Web site a 10% discount off any product from Stila.com.
Stila sees the campaign as a chance to take its own volunteerism efforts and “make a big splash,” said Desiree Tordecilla, Stila’s global VP of sales, education, pro artistry and international marketing.
The company hasn’t advertised on TV, but sees WE wedding programming, such as “Bridezillas” and “Platinum Weddings,” as a good fit.
“Stila is also very much associated as a brand that brides wear on their wedding day. That’s another way this partnership just completely makes sense,” Ms. Tordecilla said.
WE has never had a sponsor for one of its public service campaigns.
“What we would love to do is find a couple of other advertisers, because for us it’s just about getting the word out to more women,” said Ms. Martin, who added that the network is talking with a potential print partner.
WE’s employees also are going to be volunteering.
“As a network, we are setting aside WE Volunteer days for our employees and we are asking our employees to donate a day of their own time away from work,” Ms. Martin said.
Ms. Martin is likely to spend her volunteer time with the Port Washington, N.Y.-based North Shore Animal League, of which she’s a board member. “I will probably spend the day taking in cats, washing, combing, grooming them, doing all the things they need.”
VolunteerMatch has worked with other media outlets before, including “Oprah’s Big Give” and HGTV, but never on a project with this scope.
“The profile of the typical volunteer in the United States is a woman, so it’s a tremendous opportunity for WE to really connect with a lifestyle that its viewers are probably already engaged in, but really to stoke that and energize it and inspire and keep it focused on the needs of today’s nonprofit community,” said Greg Baldwin, president of VolunteerMatch.


  1. Please tell me how I can become a volunteer?
    Thank you,
    Tami McNamara

  2. I live in El Dorado County in California and I would be interested in becoming a volunteer. Thank you. Kitty

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