Tips for Organizing a Donation Drive

group of volunteers working a donation drive

Through the holiday season and into the new year, many turn their attention to giving back to their community by donating toys, food, and other supplies, or volunteering at charitable organizations. But being grateful should be a year-long endeavor as our communities need support every day. Recently we shared a story of a local toy drive that inspired a whole community. It also inspired us. Here are some recommendations—and motivation—to find opportunities to organize a donation drive to make a difference within your community.

How to Organize a Donation Drive

box of art and school supplies collected from a donation drive

Once you’ve identified a charitable organization that speaks to you, get in touch with the administration to discuss their needs and learn how you can best support them. When you understand this piece of the puzzle, use these tips to start organizing a donation drive:

Get Support

You’ll be surprised how much support you can get if you ask. Most corporations have established corporate giving or community outreach programs. Reach out to the HR department and ask them if they can support your cause. Local businesses are also a great resource; they can donate event or storage space, entertainment, food and/or refreshments and other resources.

Make it Fun

Drive more attendance by turning the donation drive into a fun afternoon.

Give Specific Instructions

Wherever you decide to communicate the event, make sure to include important information like what you are doing; why you are doing it; when and where it will take place; who is organizing; and how people can participate.

Spread the Word

The more people that know about the opportunity to donate, the more you’ll be able to support the organization. Here are few ways to spread the word:

  • Local newspapers: Reach out to the editorial team of the local newspaper or community newsletter and ask them to run a story on the event.
  • Social Media: Post about the event on your own profile (make sure to have the share button enabled on Facebook!). Ask other participants to share as well.
  • Community organizations: Are you a member of any community groups? Let them know about the event and how they can contribute
  • Post flyers: Apartment complexes, coffee shops, and popular gathering places usually have billboards. Use a template on Word or Google Docs to create a flyer and make sure to include contact info.

Offer various drop-off locations

People want to help, but you have to make it convenient for them. By offering various drop-off locations around town, you’ll increase the chances of having people donate.

Finding Other Ways to Give Back

Do you want to contribute to a worthy cause but aren’t quite sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:

  • Contact your local hospital, shelter, crisis center or house of faith and ask how you can contribute.
  • Keep your eye out on Facebook (community groups are a go-to communication tool for community advocates), your local news and newspapers.
  • You can also check out a list of local charitable organizations at volunteermatch.org.

Giving back to your community is a rewarding experience. Make volunteering an integral part of your life and share the experience with your loved ones. Your contribution will have a deep impact on the quality of life of those you help. Happy giving.

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Ellen Madden studied Communications and Women & Gender Studies at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She is navigating motherhood while working and celebrating life in Tampa, FL where she grew up. Ellen is a food lover and is learning the art of writing as she goes along.

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