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Donation boxes are an amazing way to reach out to your community members that are struggling and let them know that you care. The type of donation box that your club plans to distribute for your community can differ depending on the need: anything from baby boxes which include formula packets and diapers, to street boxes with extra socks and hand and foot warmers could mean all the difference in the world to someone who’s struggling. This guide will give you a blueprint for how to put on your own donation box fundraiser and collection.
For Your Consideration:
Make sure to give yourself enough time to bring everything together. If you’re planning an event for back to school, start planning in late spring/early summer so your organization won’t be rushed and forget anything important.
This guide is going to include a section on writing letters to businesses to potentially collect relevant items or just money to go towards your club and collection goals. Its ok if you plan to keep a portion of the cash you collect, just make sure to include that any money collected will go towards supporting your cause and your club in your letters. Bonus points if you include how it will help your club/group in the long run!
Consider pairing this event with another large event, like a carnival or a dance a-thon fundraiser. That way, you’ll be able to collect donations for both events.
Step One: Appoint a Leader/Committee
This is one of those fundraisers that would really benefit from having one person in charge looking out for the big picture plus a few smaller groups to tackle the smaller tasks. The committees could include a sorting/organizing committee, marketing and letter writing committee, collection/prep comittee, community engagement, and more depending on your needs.
Step Two: Find Where the Need Is
Reach out to local shelters/orphanages to find out what they actually need for their residents. If everyone’s school supplies have already been taken care of and they truly need clothes for school aged kids, then your club is missing an opportunity to meet the need if they hold a supply drive without asking anyone.
Step Three: Decide the Length Of The Event/Pick Your Locations
You have a few options when it comes to this step. You can do a single day event like “pack the bus” or “pack the bags”, where people bring their donations and fill a school bus or pieces of luggage with them, or you can run your event over the course of a few days/weeks.
Now is also the time to pick the location(s) of your event. If you’re doing individual boxes, pick 5-15 areas in your school/around the community to place your collection boxes depending on the size of your community. If you’re doing one big event involving a bus or bags, check with the school officials to see if you can host it on school property/in the school parking lot. If not, scout out the place with the highest amount of traffic to consider for your collection spot. Bear in mind you might have to check with your town or local officials to make sure your event doesn’t impede traffic.
Step Four: Advertise/Write Letters
Now is the time to make your posters/fliers and get the word out about your event! Make sure to let your local schools and parents know about the drive. Let them know that you’ll be collecting any clean and gently used items that will be put to good use if you don’t need them anymore. Make sure to include that you’re accepting donations of supplies AND monetary donations to give everyone a chance to be involved.
Also, write letters to your local businesses to see if they would be willing to donate money or items to your cause. Don’t hesitate to offer shoutouts in exchange for the donations in case any companies seem hesitant. Make sure to keep the names of the companies who donates to your event so you can send out thank you notes later!
Step Five: Set Up Your Bus/Bags/Boxes
After you’ve decided what length of event you want to have and where you want to put your collection boxes, its time to head out and set up! Feel free to talk with passersby about your event and remind them of the times that you’ll be collecting the items.
Step Six: Hold Your Event
For the first few days of your longer event or for the duration of your 1 day only event, have your community engagement committee go out and talk to nearby people to remind them about your fundraiser! Make sure your engagement members are armed with collection buckets just in case anyone is in a giving mood while speaking with them. If you’re doing box donations over the course of a few days/weeks, make sure your collection committee is making regular stops by your sites to empty the boxes as they fill up and transport donations back to the collection HQ.
Step Seven: Prep Items For Delivery
Once your event is over, send your collection/prep committee out to gather all of the donations from the boxes. With items like clothes and other cloth things to be donated and worn, the prep committee might want to run the items through a quick cleaning phase but its not required. Either way, make sure to sort through the items and toss out any that look stained or any items with holes. Also, sort the donations by size and gender so the shelter/orphanage can get the items to who can use them as easily as possible.
As for the money collected, you have a few options. Your organization can use some of the money to buy something special/something that was requested that they didn’t get a lot of during the drive, or they can just give some of the money collected to the shelter.
Step Eight: Deliver the Items and Write Your Thank-You’s
Once you’ve had your event and gotten everything prepped to deliver to the shelter/orphanage, deliver it! I’m sure everyone will be ecstatic and touched to see how hard your organization worked to make sure everyone had what they needed to feel cared for and comfortable. Also, take this opportunity to send out your thank you notes to all of the businesses who donated to your cause. Thank your volunteers and the community too for coming together to make everything happen!