Raising money is an important function of most charitable organizations, and collecting funds using donation containers is a popular fundraising method. A donation container is any object used to collect money. According to Giving USA, Americans donate more than $300 billion to charities each year. To ensure your organization, club or cause benefits from this charitable giving, consider the use of donation containers.
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Donation Container Types
There are three primary types of donation containers. These include manufactured containers, homemade containers and common items used as donation containers.
Manufactured containers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are made from cardboard, metal, plastic, acrylic and wood. You can purchase reusable locking donation containers or single-use donation containers with a sealed rim. While pre-made donation containers look more professional, they do cut into your profits.
Homemade donation containers can be as simple as using a coffee can and cutting a small slit in the lid for donations. You can also create paper mache boxes. These are fairly simple to make and serve as a homemade locked donation container. When you are ready to remove the funds, break open the paper mache box.
Using common items related to the charity or the volunteers is a creative approach. Firefighters often employ this method when raising funds for charity by using their boots as donation containers.
Donation Container Labels
No matter which container type you choose, it is imperative that you clearly label your donation container. Information such as the charity name, logo and a brief description of how donations will be used should be included on the label.
Depending on the size and shape of your donation container, you might choose to create a promotional flyer on brightly color paper. Flyers can be taped to the outside of donation containers or, if the container is clear, taped to the inside of the container.
If the container is a particularly odd size or shape, use a stand-alone plastic sign holder to hold your flyer. For example, if an animal rescue group is using a dog bowl to collect donations at an information booth, a promotional flyer in a sign holder will provide potential givers pertinent information at a glance.
Donation Container Placement
Donation containers are typically used two ways. Sometimes, donation containers are left at a location unattended and funds are retrieved periodically. Alternatively, charity staff and volunteers can use donation containers to actively solicit donations. Employing both methods increases your fundraising reach.
When selecting locations to leave your donation containers, contact local merchants and ask if you can leave your container next to their cash register. Select high-traffic areas such as video stores, gas stations and pharmacies. Whenever possible tie the charity to the location. For example, a charity promoting literacy might want to leave donation containers at local bookstores.
To use your donation container to actively solicit donations, identify opportunities to collect money. Fundraising events, such as silent auctions and fashion shows, are prime opportunities to collect additional donations. Moreover, anytime your charity engages in an educational outreach, place your donation container alongside your informational brochures.