Starting Food & Fund Drives

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?


5 Responses to Starting Food & Fund Drives

  1. Sandy Rees says:

    I spent 5 years as the Director of Development for my local Food Bank and I coordianted LOTS of food drives. Something that we did that seemed to really help was to work closely with the head coordinator of a particular company to support their drive. I remember one small company we worked with divided the employees into two teams and then had a competition to see which team could collect the most pounds of food. The owner of the company kicked in all kinds of stuff, like an extra day off for the winning team. For a company of only 30 staff, they were one of our biggest food drives of the year!

  2. asa mattice says:

    hello im interested in getting a blanket drive going in my comunity for people or families that might need alittle extra warmth this winter. i just wanted to say thank you for haveing some info to help me get going in the right direction.

  3. i am trying to start a food drive by myself and i dont know where to start or who to talk to can you help me?

  4. Shannon lee says:

    I am trying to start a fund for kids/teenagers who are homeless and are in for shelter. I dont know how to get starting on this can someone please assist me with how to go about this

  5. Jason Dick says:

    Krista, thanks for your comment. I would encourage you to talk with your local food bank, they probably already have programs to help you succeed. If you have a kid in school or are a part of a church those are great starting places to do a food drive. If that doesn’t work, talk with your neighbors and see if they want to help you organize something.

    Shannon, thanks for reading. I encourage you to search for a local community foundation and talk with them to see if they have any funds like that that you could partner with.

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