- Identify and contact the charity.
a) Select the charity that you would like to send donations to. Contact the charity and inform them of what you would like to do. Learn more about what they need the most and what they won't accept. Establish if you will be collecting new or lightly used items.
i.e. You may think that a shelter for domestic violence victims needs canned baby food, but they may actually need professional clothing to help situate women with jobs.
b) Inquire if they have resources to assist you with the donation drive. Some resources you can inquire about are flyers and donation boxes.
c) Set a drop-off date with the charity. This will allow you to create a timeline of when to advertise, run the drive, and drop off the donations. If possible, try to set a date that is at least three weeks away. This will allow you give you plenty of time to advertise and magnify the impact you have.
- Planning the event.
a) Decide the type of event you would like to have. You might want to do a donation drop-off, have people donate as the admission price for a cool event. Get creative! Check out these websites for tips & ideas to help you.
i.e. If you were doing a canned food drive you can assign foods to a certain day like meatless Monday, tuna Tuesday, etc. OR If you were doing something in a school, you can ask teachers if they would provide classroom incentives such as giving a student a one-time free pass on homework if they participate.
b) After deciding what type of event you'd like to have, make strategic decisions on how to have the biggest impact. Determine the duration of the event. Some options are doing a one-time event or a month long event. A donation box might be most effective if it is done over a month, but if you're arranging a concert and charging a donation for admission, a one-time event can be just as effective!
c) Decide if you would like to engage multiple locations in your drive.
d) Creating a timeline is an important step that will help you plan your drive. A timeline does not to be detailed, but should include the day(s) that you will host the drive, when to begin advertising, preparing supplies you may need to set up, and when you will drop off the items.
a. This crucial step will determine the success of your drive. Create a catchy poster including what you're doing, why you're doing, date, time and location. If the organization that you are collecting for has a logo, make sure to include it on your advertising with their permission.
b. Identify high traffic places in your community to put them up. This can be at a local town hall, place of worship, businesses, or school.
c. Consider other forms of advertising such as sending a flyer to a local or school newspaper. Share it on Facebook and other forms of social media. Ask if your local radio station or new station will donate one minute of air time for your cause so that you can advertise your drive.
d. Make sure to give yourself ample time to advertise before the drive. Advertising should start at least one week before the drive.
a. Take a few minutes to gauge how large your event will be. A few questions to help you to do this are:
- Have I received a lot of attention from my community about this drive?
- How many people have told me they will be donating or they know someone that will be donating?
b. After you have a "guestimate" of how many people will be donating, ask yourself how many people will be needed to collect, sort, and distribute the donations.
c. Gather volunteers from your family and friends, and make sure they are committed.
d. Designate responsibilities. Establish who will be bringing the boxes to the locations, who will be taking them home (if applicable), and how they will be dropped off.
e. Include this information in your timeline and share it with your volunteers.
- Collect and Sort
a. Decorate boxes or jars to hold the donations as well as flyers for the packing event.
b. Label what items can be donated in each box by making a fun picture.
c. Create a large sign to accompany your box that has information about who you will be benefitting and why. That way people can see what you are doing without having to go out of their way to ask you.
d. Make it colorful and eye-catching. If the organization that you are collecting for has a logo, make sure to include it on your sign.
i.e. If you are collecting new hats for people with Breast Cancer going through chemotherapy, it may be a great idea to include the (1) pink ribbon logo on the boxes and (2) use a catchy phrase on your box like "Hats for Chemo Warriors."
- Take an inventory of what you have collected. Make sure that everything is worthy of being donated. If possible, sort the donations.
i.e. If you have been collecting books for a library or to be sent to a school abroad, it would be a great idea to sort the books into kids, teens, and adults. If you have collected monetary donations, count the money you have received.
- Share your Story! Either take to social media and tag @generationOn (on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter), or start a club and track your projects with our service tracker!