Donating is one of the most selfless things you can do in life. It gives you the opportunity to reach out to help someone and lend a helping hand. Whether it be within your local community or across the world, all it takes is a bit of time, energy, and spread of care to get things going. In my personal opinion, we could certainly use more “good” these days.
That is why I wanted to share with you How to Successfully Host a Donation Drive so that you can get involved and truly touch the lives of others around you. It’s an overwhelming (good) feeling to be able to help others.
Make a Plan
Of course the first thing you need to do is make a plan. Decide what type of donation drive you want to host, whom the donations will go to, etc. Ask yourself these helpful questions:
- What type of donation drive do I want to host? (Ex: Bake Sale, Car Wash, Benefit Concert, etc.)
- For what company or organization do I want to host this drive for?
- Who do I want to help me organize this donation drive?
- How long do I want to host the Donation Drive for?
- Where will I host the drive at?
Answering these questions will help you organize the drive. In addition, I recommend you starting to work on the drive at a minimum of a month ahead of time. I planned this way, and even as the day of the drive came near, I felt as if I still needed more time. Just remember the more time you give yourself the less you will feel stressed and the better the donations (and overall outcome) will be.
Once your plan is made, there are a few supplies you will need to help you get started. For instance, you are going to want supplies to make flyers or banners to get your donation drive noticed. For more information when it comes to banners and how they can help you, have a look at dynamicgift.co.nz banners or other similar products.
You can also head to your local local Dollar Tree (like I did) to find several inexpensive items to use for flyers and more.
Here are some basic items you made need to get started:
- A Large box to place donated items in. You can always ask your local Walmart if they can save you one of those large watermelon bins. You can then wrap it in parchment paper and decorate it to match your theme.
- A Banner. I simply made mine out of a foam board with a large colored poster board glued on top of it. Again, these items were found at Dollar Tree.
- A stack of donation slips. These will act as a receipt for the donations you receive. I turned these into the center I made the donations to so the center could send out appropriate receipts to the donors for tax deduction purposes. I also have a pre-made Donation Receipt Template you can find here.
- Pens, for allowing donors to write down important information or for filling out donation receipts.
- Tape, glue, and any other adhesive to set up items on the big day.
- A large table and chairs for displaying items and to allow you to be seated while you wait. You can also have some sort of tent to cover you from Sun and Rain.
- Snacks and Water. You want to stay energized and hydrated on the big day so be sure to come prepared.
- Dependable transportation. Ensure you have enough room in your car to transport items to and from the donation site. It’d be terrible to have to try to find transportation for everything at the last minute.
Once you have made your plan and gathered your basic supplies for the drive, it’s time to do the most important step: advertise. Just like with any important business plan or announcement, advertising is the best way to accomplish your goal and make your donation drive a success. There are many ways you can do this, I have listed a few great ways to do so below.
- Create a Facebook Group and invite friends and family to it. Make sure to adjust the settings to “public” so other’s can join, share, and see the group as well.
- Spread the word across social media channels via shoutouts and posts. (Ex: Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Place an ad in the online classifieds. Many times these are Free and they can be done without leaving your home, plus they will help reach a larger audience.
- Reach out to local bloggers; ask if they would spread the word across their sites and social media accounts. Many times they would be happy to spread information about such a great cause.
- Reach out to local organizations such as churches, schools, and local businesses to help spread the word. You can also ask these organizations if you can host the donation drive there.
- Send information out via email to friends, family, and colleagues.
- Contact local radio and TV stations for a brief shout out about your donation drive. Some may even be happy to provide media coverage the day of your drive.
These days there really are many awesome ways you can get your cause noticed, just put your thinking cap on and be creative!
Make the day it’s best
Now it’s time for the big day, the day when donations will be collected. Ensure you have all the items you need the night before. There is nothing worse than being unprepared, it’s like showing up to an interview in your underwear, you get the picture. Today of all days, expect for the best but plan for the worst. Remember not everyone can nor will be willing to donate. Don’t get discouraged. Simply thank those who want to donate but can’t, and those who can and do donate. It’s easy to get overwhelmed but try to remember you are doing this for a great reason and in the end; it will all be worth it.
After the long day is over, pat yourself on your back for doing the best job possible and for making a difference in people’s lives.
Have you ever hosted a donation drive? If so, what way’s did you make a donation drive a success? I’d love to hear them! Be sure to leave your tips and ideas in the comments below!