Community drives are a great way to get businesses & community groups involved in your organization. They are also a great way to build and grow your donor base. How do you get started? What are some important things to think about?
The key to success in grassroots work is to make things simple and easy to multiply. Take a core issue connected to your organization and create an easy to use package. Where I work we do food drives and fund drives. Fund drives are the easiest because they take the least amount of supplies. You need to have a quick and easy idea that can be explained in a few sentences or less. Create a document explaining the program, and start to plan who you are going to approach.
Set up a multi-tiered approach where you send out a letter to your regular community & business supporters (or volunteers) asking them to get involved. Post some sign-up information on your website and include some info in your e-newsletter. I would suggest setting a time line so that your program can doing something in a specific issue or program. Individual fund drives usually raise more when they are for 2 weeks or a month instead of an designated time or a couple of months. When the drive over a short set amount of time everyone involved is focused during that time.
Set things up so that each drive is specific to your organization with a financial connection to your mission with equivalences. Like a gift of $10 will feed one family, or provide books for one student. This way you are setting up everyone with a specific expected gift amount per individual person. If you are a food bank incorporate a food drive option. Or maybe it makes sense to collect coats or cell phones or something like that. Be creative.
Does your organization or has your community group run a program like this before? Tell us about it. Was it a success? What tips and pointers do you have to share?