National Night Out (NNO) is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie, and safer communities. Hosted by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) for almost four decades, millions of neighbors in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and military bases worldwide join in NNO events each year.
As the only national property management sponsor for NNO, Associa has countless years of experience planning and executing these events. Read on for answers to nine frequently asked questions about NNO, including what and when it is, how to host an event, and more.
1. What is National Night Out?
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign designed to enhance relationships between neighbors and law enforcement and restore a true sense of community. As part of the campaign, neighborhoods host events to get neighbors together and connect with local first responders.
2. How Long Has National Night Out Been Around?
NATW was founded in 1981 to provide community watch groups with key information and resources to stay informed, motivated, and interested in their communities. NATW soon saw a need to involve both community watch groups and community members in neighborhood safety efforts, so they introduced the NNO campaign in August of 1984. The first-annual NNO included 2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states. Now, it involves 38 million neighbors across 17,000 communities in every state.
3. When is National Night Out?
For many states, National Night Out is held on the first Tuesday of August. For Texas and several other states, it’s on the first Tuesday of October. This year, NNO is on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, and Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
4. What Role Does Associa Play in National Night Out?
Associa is entering its twelfth year as the only national property management sponsor of NNO. Supporting NNO is part of Associa’s commitment to customer service and dedication to offering unique value-adds. As a national sponsor for NNO, Associa assists with and engages in celebrations with millions of neighbors in thousands of communities across the United States.
5. How Do We Host a National Night Out Event?
Planning a successful event is easy and rewarding. To host your own NNO event, consider this simple, step-by-step process:
- Step 1: Plan the basics. Determine the type, time, location, scale, governing document requirements, and budget for your event.
- Step 2: Recruit volunteers. Form a committee or team of volunteers to plan the event, communicate with residents, reach out to partners, assist the day of, and clean up. Be sure to engage your community association manager, as well.
- Step 3: Invite partners and vendors. Invite first responders and local agencies, officials, and vendors.
- Step 4: Communicate your event. Share event fliers, send emails, and post on social media.
6. What are Some National Night Out Event Ideas?
Homeowners’ associations can host various events to celebrate NNO. National Night Out event ideas include:
- Front porch parties
- Bike and wagon parades
- Concession stands
- Movie nights
- Photo booths
- Charity activities
- Scavenger hunts
- Ice cream socials
- Book exchanges
- Neighborhood awards
Many neighborhoods also facilitate visits from emergency personnel and police and fire departments and provide information and demonstrations about youth safety and crime prevention.
7. Who Gets Invited to National Night Out?
In addition to community residents, consider inviting the following to your NNO event:
- Law enforcement and public safety officials
- Local fire department
- Local elected officials (Mayor, City Council Member, Commissioner, etc.)
- Local schools serving your community
8. Why Should We Host a National Night Out Event?
National Night Out events are a great opportunity to bring communities and local law enforcement together under positive circumstances. Other benefits of hosting an NNO event include:
- Increased community camaraderie. NNO events promote a sense of community and encourage neighbors to engage.
- Enhanced relationships with local agencies. Open communication, continued conversation, and relationship-building with local agencies are necessary.
- Educational opportunities. Many communities use NNO events to educate everyone on issues, such as drug prevention and crime awareness.
- Improved vendor partnerships. Vetted vendors and partners enjoy attending events and connecting with residents.
9. How Do We Register Our National Night Out Event?
National Night Out event registration is free and required. All communities should register their event with NATW here. Registration allows NATW to track and grow its numbers across all communities. Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email with more information and resources regarding NNO.
Communities hosting August NNO events should also report their event to Associa here by July 14, 2023 to access additional guidance and giveaway items. (Please email Anne Brumbalow at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information).
*If you’re interested in hosting an October event, please register by September 15, 2023.
More About National Night Out
Hosting an NNO event in your community highlights your board’s commitment to the safety and well-being of residents. Read our article, “A Complete Guide to National Night Out,” to learn more about NNO.