Here is a recent example of a publisher getting national publicity by making a donation.
Chelsea Green donated 1,500 copies of its various titles to the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City for use in their education centers.
As Chelsea Green noted in their press release announcing the donation:
Chelsea Green holds a strong affinity for this movement. Through publishing the works of our activist-authors, we have long advocated a return to local economies, local production of food, the empowerment of individual communities to support themselves, and suspicion of the corporate-occupation of the US government.
We thank you, protesters, for standing up strong in the face of the myriad injustices this economic-government collusion has perpetrated. We’ve got your back.
With the protestors making news in myriad ways, both good and bad, Chelsea was able to get book trade notice for their donation. I’m sure news of their donation was also picked up by many blogs and Internet news sites.