Many of us like to give back to our communities. A lot of us are not always sure what the best way to do that is. Not everyone can write a large check to the wounded veterans charities they want to support, for instance. Most of us, however, have clothes that we no longer wear. One really great way to make the most of the donation experience is to run a clothes donation drive. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Pick the charity. You will need to decide which charity will receive your clothing donations. Say you have decided that you want your work to be towards helping military families, you should start by calling wounded veterans charities, for instance. See what they are looking for, if they have specific needs.
- Ask specifically about their needs. Some wounded veterans charities, and others, may just say they are happy for whatever you can get them. Press them a little and you may find that they really need winter clothing for children and adults. Sometimes it helps people to ask for certain items. They may have forgotten what they have back in their closets until you ask about specific things.
- Pick a spot. You will need a drop off location for people in the area to leave their clothing donations. If you are doing this at home and you live in an apartment building, talk to your building management company about this. If you are doing this at work, you should see if a conference room can be used for this purpose. In either case you will have to decide a time frame.
- Pick the dates for your clothing donation drive. You will not have an unlimited amount of time to complete your clothing donation drive. Set a week where people can leave their items. People are also more likely to act on something if they know they only have a limited amount of time to follow through.
- Spread the word! Start with flyers. You need to include information about wounded veterans charities that you are supporting (if you are sending stuff to more than one) or charity, the dates and location of your clothing drive, your contact information and what is needed. You may want to remind people that used clothing donations are tax deductible.
- Turn to social media. Make your clothes donation drive an event on Facebook, share it with all of your contacts in the area, blog about it, Tweet about it, post updates on Instagram and elsewhere with photos when people make clothing donations. Go live on Facebook to get more people interested. There are a lot of ways.
- Consider sending out a press release. If you are getting a lot of donations, you may be able to get some publicity for your clothing donation drive and the area wounded veterans charities. Follow up with local press. You can achieve two things, the added publicity for the charity and also added awareness and participation in your donation drive. Send follow up releases after it is over.
- Sort the donations before you send them in. This will make it a lot easier for the staff of the charity to handle your donations and make it a lot more worthwhile. When you are looking through the clothes to sort them, you may want to wash some. Do what you can to not give dirty clothes to the charity.
- Schedule a pick up or drop off date and time. Many charities offer pick up services for donation drives. Coordinate with them.
- Take pictures. Whether you take the donations to the charity or they pick them up, take pictures, go live on Facebook or take video. Use that to promote the success of your efforts. This can be a great way to promote the work done by wounded veterans charities in your area and showcase the importance of that work.’
- Send thank you messages. Compile information on what was collected and how it will be used and send the people who donated and the people who helped a nice card thanking them for their help.
Used clothing donation drives are great ways to bring a community together to help others.