Large group of a happy people with raised hands.

How to organize a community donation drive

Are you looking to make an impact? Donation drives organized by community leaders are critically important to non-profit organizations and local charities. No matter how big or small, a community donation drive can make a huge difference to someone in need – and every little bit helps!

Why should you organize a donation drive?

Well, the list can go on and on, but here are our top five favorite reasons:

1. You’ll be a part of a rewarding experience that brings your entire community together.

2. It’s a chance to learn about project management and how to become a leader.

3. You will be supporting and providing for local charities.

4. You will be endorsing a worthy cause.

5. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet new people and see familiar faces within your community.

Donation drive_giving

Donation drive_boxes

Planning and hosting a donation drive can take a lot of preparation and determination.  But don’t worry – we’ve covered the basics for you to ensure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible! Here is everything you need to know:

Recruit volunteers. Spread the word by speaking with close family, friends and your neighbors…the more the merrier! Before you know it, word will spread quickly and you should have plenty of people that are willing to lend a hand.

Do your homework. Identify and choose a charitable organization within your community that you would like to support. If you can’t decide on one charity in particular, then feel free to pick more than one. For donation guidelines and restrictions, it’s always a good idea to contact the charity directly before making any assumptions.

Promote, promote, promote. It’s time to let everyone know when and where the drive will be taking place, so get ready to spread the word by distributing flyers to your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.  We also recommend handing them out to local schools, faith based organizations, community centers and public places within your community (like grocery stores, restaurants, fitness centers, coffee shops, libraries, etc.)

Let the media know. To expand your audience, be sure to spread the word by contacting your local newspapers, magazines, community newsletters, websites, and radio stations. The local press often welcomes information about community events, and sometimes you can even advertise for free!

Set up the drop off area/collection site. Be sure to have all drop off areas clearly marked for your visitors to ensure the process is smooth and simple. Organization is also extremely important–make sure you clearly label boxes and large plastic bins with the main items you’re expecting to receive, such as clothing, toys, housewares, books….you get the idea.

Coordinate delivery. Determine how donations will be delivered to your chosen organization Can the items be picked up, or do you need to deliver them? When is the best time for pick-up and delivery? Do you need to schedule a delivery ahead of time? Find out as many details as possible.

Are you planning to organize, promote or execute a community donation drive? Share your stories below!

Sam Landa is Content Manager and social media manager at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environment & Sustainability, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing live music and writing. Connect with Sam on  or LinkedIn.