Throwing Back to School Supplies Fundraisers Can be a Great Way to Help the Community
Each year, as back to school time approaches, it is common for members of the community to band together to gather school supplies for the children and schools in the community that are in need. If you are taking on the role or have been assigned the role by your organization, then you may be wondering, “How do you arrange a back to school supplies fundraiser?” The answer is not that different than it would be for other types of school fundraisers: to get organized up-front and remain that way throughout the planning, promotion and implementation process.
Some up-front planning is required prior to launching your fundraiser. Attention to detail is a priority when you are planning any major event, and a school supplies fundraisers are no exception to this rule. The starting point for the planning process is to identify a place where you can hold the school supplies drive. Some common areas include the parking lot of a store or shopping center, one or more local schools or the parking lot or an inside location of a shopping mall.
Speak to the school administration or the property managers of the locations you are considering. Let them know that you are planning back to school supplies fundraisers and see if it is possible for you to use their location. You should choose a location that has a lot of foot traffic and is easily accessible. This is why parking lots work well, because donators can simply pull up to the drop-off point, hand over the school supplies and drive away.
After you find a location, it’s time to set the date, dates and times of the fundraiser. If you only intend on holding the drive for one day then you will only need one date. If you want to run multiple back to school supplies fundraisers, consider choosing a couple of dates back to back (i.e., Saturday and Sunday or two Saturdays in a row). Some fundraisers run all day, while others only run for a three or four hours. Once you have the place, date and time, you have the foundational items of the fundraiser in place. Now it’s time to plan the logistics of the event.
The logistical planning gets down to how you are going to collect, store and deliver the school supplies once you collect them. Depending on the size of the community where the drive is, you may need to rent a small box truck to stack the school supplies in boxes for delivery. Gather boxes from grocery stores and warehouse businesses and label the boxes accordingly. You may have a box for crayons, another for pencils, a third for pens, and so on and so forth.
You’ll also need to arrange for volunteers that can come and man the donation truck or location and collect the supplies from donators. Delivery drivers will also need to be arranged. If it’s not in your budget to rent a delivery or box truck, contact a local rental company to see if they may be willing to sponsor the event and/or donate a truck for your use.
Promotion plays a big role, so sending out press releases, getting on local community calendars, printing and sending fliers home with the kids to the parents, all play a role in spreading the word about the drive. If you can land a radio station, for example, as a sponsor, the DJs not only help to promote the drive on the radio, but these stations also tend to donate items such as box trucks with their logo and call letters to collect, store and deliver the school supplies
Planning back to school supplies fundraisers can be fun and be meaningful to the kids and schools in the areas that are in need of the items. When you take the time to get organized up-front, it will help you to pay attention to all of the details. Like many benefits of fundraising for schools, holding nn organized event also tends to be more of a successful event because you haven’t left out any details in establishing, promoting and pulling off the event.
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Source: author’s own experience