A donation drive is an excellent way for charitable organizations to collect goods. It gives people in your area the chance to give back to the community and help people in need.
Logistics is one of the biggest concerns when hosting a donation drive. But whether large or small, early planning can alleviate many of the potential issues. Partnering with companies can also increase your chances of having a successful event, allowing you to collect donations from a wider group of people.
Take a look at these helpful tips on how to run a donation drive for your next charity event!
What Is a Donation Drive?
Most people have participated in a donation drive or two. These are designed to benefit local charities or people in need by providing key goods and supplies. They get the whole community involved in charitable work.
Traditionally, donation drives involve dropping off items at a public location, such as a library, school, or grocery store. Location is key because an area with a lot of foot traffic will make donations more convenient. With the Internet and mobile phones, digital donation drives have evolved as a way to streamline collections and engage donors in a safe way on their terms.
Some donation drives are focused on food, while others may ask participants for school supplies. Still, others request hygiene supplies, warm jackets, socks, and other clothing. Some of these drives require more planning and preparation than others!
If you’ve considered a digital donation drive, you can work with a non-profit supplier like Roonga to get unique discounts and streamline the donation process.
Things to Consider to Set Your Donation Drive Up for Success
1. Get a Headstart
To host a donation drive, you should plan ahead of time to make it as stress-free as possible. For drives that allow three to six weeks of collections, you should begin planning at least a month before the launch of your drive. Larger events that serve more clients may require several months of planning.
The majority of donation drives are themed or timed to coincide with specific events or holidays such as the first day of school, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Decide on a donation drive date and start planning as soon as possible. Before launching, a month’s worth of planning is recommended.
The more time you have to plan, the better chance you’ll have a successful donation drive. Early planning allows you to guarantee that your outreach, distribution logistics, and other aspects that may affect your contribution drive, such as weather, and the availability of the items you need. Last-minute modifications can easily cause problems.
2. Recruit Collection Partners
A key strategy for ensuring the success of your drive is to recruit collection partners. Collection partners can collect supplies in-person or virtually through digital donation drives. Corporate teams, services clubs, and religious groups are all great candidates. As a collection partner, these individual teams can advertise and collect on your behalf, expanding your coverage and enticing new donors who might not otherwise participate in your drive.
When identifying a new collection partner, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the partner have a team coordinator identified?
- Does the team coordinator have the support of the leadership team at their organization?
- Is the team coordinator empowered to communicate your drive to the company’s employees or other team members?
- Does the team want to collect in person, digitally, or both?
- Do their desired collection dates line up with your overall drive dates?
By recruiting collection partners who are motivated and empowered to help your drive, you can widely expand the footprint of your drive, thereby ensuring its success.
3. Soft Launch Your Donation Drive
Before your official donation drive launches to the public, a soft launch to a smaller group of loyal supporters or powerhouse fundraisers can assist and generate campaign momentum. People are more willing to donate to a campaign if it has already generated some funds, so gaining traction with your early adopter audiences is critical.
Send out an email to your supporters requesting input and making a donation. Would they make any changes? Is it apparent what you’re trying to say? Does it pique their interest? Is it easy to make a donation on the drive? If they’re peer-to-peer fundraisers, encourage them to purchase from the drive and solicit donations from friends and family within the community.
When it’s time to invite everyone, the momentum you built during your soft launch will most likely carry over into your hard launch, propelling you closer to your goal.
4. Track and Monitor the Progress of Your Donation Drive
When your drive launches, you’ll generally have an initial bump in collections. Donors are excited about your drive, and many will immediately contribute at the start. However, rarely will your goal be met in the first few days of the drive.
After the initial launch, it is important to track and monitor the donations. With a digital drive, it’s easy to see how many of each item has been donated. With traditional offline drives, you’ll need to coordinate regular pickups, count the donated items, and track the cumulative amounts. Knowing what has been donated will allow you to course correct.
It is also important during the drive to keep the outreach going. Emails and social media posts are easily pushed down on your donors’ inboxes and feeds, so sending follow-up email reminders and re-posting is key.
Depending on the duration of your drive, we recommend at least three email communications—beginning, middle, and end—to keep your donors updated on the status of your drive and how they can help. Email communications are generally more effective than social media posts, so prioritize the emails if you need to pick one.
5. Show Gratitude and Appreciation
When hosting a donation drive, make sure you thank donors, volunteers, and your team every step of the way, even after the drive has ended. If you know who donated what, personally contact them and thank them. If you don’t know who donated, leave a message on the drive page or send an email thanking them. At the end of the drive, be sure to send out a formal thank you letter or email to all the donors. This tiny effort will go a long way toward ensuring the success of future donation drives!
Get to Know Roonga and Streamline Your Donation Drive
Roonga is a unique platform for managing digital donation drives. We can help you navigate the challenges associated with traditional donation drives by streamlining in-kind giving for nonprofits and their supporters through three main services:
- Online collection drives that provide donor transparency and convenience
- A next-generation “Adopt-a-Family” platform that reduces staff time and enhances the donor experience
- Cost-effective bulk purchasing that leverage Roonga’s supplier network
Our platform can track donations, show a wish list to participants, and much, much more. To learn about our service, you may visit our website and for more information on how we support your charity work, contact our dedicated team at Roonga today!