A holiday donation drive is a fundraising event that can help those in need. Hosting this type of event requires advance planning and organization. During the holidays, people are looking for ways to help others so consider holding a drive to get help for your organization.
Planning a Holiday Donation Drive
Prior to deciding that a holiday donation event is a good idea for your event, consider the costs in running it. You will need staff to pick up, sort and distribute donations. You will need to position donation sites where they can be effective. You also have to advertise the donation to get the public to donate.
Type of Donation Drives
Consider the best type of donation drive for your charity or organization. If you are a business, consider what type of donation drive accommodates the needs of the group you hope to help.
- A food drive is an excellent solution for helping food banks and those without the means to prepare a holiday meal.
- Clothing drives are effective for helping organizations such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army and other charities that sell or give away clothing.
- Toy drives are one of the most successful types of drives. They help distribute gently used or new toys to children who may not receive a toy during the holidays otherwise.
- Book drives are options for those who hope to stock a library or school, or who wish to give the gift of literacy to children.
- Household item drives can be effective for those who need items such as blankets, working appliances and furniture. These drives are more challenging.
These types of donation drives are effective when they meet the needs of the group. If you are unsure what items are best for the organization you plan to donate to, consult the charity directly. It is also helpful to accept cash donations for charities at your drive, as well.
Putting the Event Together
A donation drive is challenging to plan because of the various aspects to take into consideration. First, contact the charity to request information on what the organization needs during the holiday season. Then, work with the organization to develop signage and to handle any legal requirements. Some who donate may wish to obtain a receipt for tax purposes, for example. The charity can help you to handle specific legal areas. Ideas to consider when planning the event include:
- Gather a group of people to plan the event. Volunteers to run the drive are necessary.
- Determine where people can make donations. Choose high traffic locations that are accessible. Get permission from those locations to set up donation boxes or stations. Consider malls, shopping centers, schools and churches.
- Advertise for the event. Use a variety of methods including newspaper ads, signs and banners and online methods.
- Gather sponsorship as needed. A radio station may be willing to broadcast from the location to help promote the drive. A church may be willing to post in flyers about the donation drive. Contact local businesses to request donations for advertising, materials or just donations for the event.
- Assign volunteers to each of the tasks, including individuals to handle advertising, donation contacts and collecting the donations. It is often helpful to have people assigned to monitor the donation sites throughout the event.
Once you have the planning done, put it into effect. The more time you have to contact sponsors and charities directly, the better. Keep in mind that many holiday drives are planned well in advance, even in the summer.
During the Donation Drive
Throughout the event, ensure that volunteers collect donated goods regularly and send them to the charity organization itself. If you are collecting donations for your own charity, document all goods coming in for tax purposes and for good record keeping. Be sure to send thank you letters to all sponsors and large donors.
Make It Successful
A holiday donation drive often takes a good deal of fanfare to make it special. The more interest you can draw into the event, the more successful the event will be. Get teens and young adults involved as well; there is no age requirement. Communicate with the group throughout the whole event. Ensure that those who are volunteering for the donation drive have recognition in some way, such as through t-shirts with the charity's name on them or through recognition in printed form.