why not donate to charity?
Donate the good stuff…
We touched previously on the importance of getting as many people as possible to support you. In community-based organisations this is not as much of a problem since you see each other regularly and know where to find each other (whether this is at work or church or at a school or sports club).
Another tip we’d like to impart (because we are discovering this ourselves) is that your supporters don’t always think about the value of their donated stuff and are sometimes then disappointed with the value realised.
Here then is your definitive (hardly, Ed) – well, anecdotal – list of most valuable stuff, or MVS:
- Old video games – PS2 games in particular are in demand;
- Video games – PS3/Xbox etc
- Cult DVDs – one man’s cult is another’s waste of space but don’t think something has no value because of your opinion;
- Text books and other specialist ‘Professional Development’ books;
- Books in general.
Most people are surprised that books are in dead last place because they have given so much pleasure to them. But the harsh truth is that most paper simply gets recycled (and we are happy to facilitate this) and as such only raises a nominal sum.
So, when you ask your supporters to donate, specify what you’d like because generous though J is being when donating a boxfull of books, it’d be far better for your fundraising effort if they dug around in the rather more dusty corners of their house for numbers 1 to 5 as outlined above.
The Bigfundraising team
Here at Bigfundraising we often see fundraisers start strong and finish wondering why people haven’t contributed. These are common emotions and no doubt there is a curve describing the transition from elation and hope right the way through to desolation and, if not despair, a close cousin.
When you are asking people to contribute stuff – DVDs, video games etc.- instead of cash, the challenges are of the same ilk but mainfest in a slightly different way. For example, someone might intend to bring in their unused video games but never quite get around to it because it’s a hassle, in the same way that someone might want to contribute cash but never do so (or they could just be tight in which case they probably borrowed the DVD they didn’t donate and are a lost cause…).
But your community is strong, correct? And closely linked? Then you just need to press the right buttons and be unafraid of being pushy – successful fundraisers in such communities will sometimes only quit asking when the response becomes an exasperated ‘go away!’ because at least they know the message has been heard…
- Get everyone on board – every single person with seniority (positional or time involved) needs to buy in;
- Use social media to promote and to keep promoting what you are fundraising for and how much – build a page with us and use that as a core tool;
- Keep a database of everyone who has contributed – make it an express aim to get everyone to donate;
- Use peer pressure to do so – create a table with all members on it and tick off those who have brought stuff in, even if it is only a couple of DVDs;
- Make sure that people realise this is a collective effort – that in the same way a cricket team can’t win if only five people turn up, so it is with a fundraising effort;
- Because you are asking people to physically bring in things which may be difficult to transport (or embarrassing to be seen in public with), ensure that those with transport help those without;
- Provide plastic bags or boxes to help supporters and to remind them to use them;
- Have a focal point in your clubhouse, company, school, church etc. that has posters explaining what you are asking for and what for and that is clearly set aside as a repository for donations (don’t worry, we’ll pick your stuff up when you are ready);
- Celebrate when you hit milestones (25%, 50% to target) and use it as an excuse to push out your message again;
- To avoid despair, keep pushing and simply don’t accept that people have nothing to bring in – at the very least, someone will have an expensive career development textbook that they will not only be glad to get rid of but will be worth a lot more than they think.
The Bigfundraising team
As with many things frustration with the status quo created bigfundraising – or at least it was the motivating factor. Got stuff at home you want to get rid of? Well, your choice is pretty much to either take it down to the tip or drop it off at a local charity shop. Which might solve your desire to have a clear-out but doesn’t give you much choice.
A lot of people do this though. Charity shops in the UK have a turnover of £750 million per year. Yep, three quarters of a billion pounds, £750,000,000.
I know, we were astonished too when we saw these figures. If you want to support the top ten or so charities that can afford to run charity shops, happy days. And if you don’t care, likewise.
But if you want to donate your stuff to an organisation not set up to receive it, not so fast. Your local church or school? Nope. The rugby club your son plays at? Nope. This is what bigfundraising is for – to help the up to 900,000 community organisations in the UK to turn their supporters’ stuff into cash.
It doesn’t matter how small or big you are, bigfundraising lets you ask supporters to donate the stuff they have at home that is not being used. It is, quite literally, useless…to them. But not to you. Build your page and promote to your supporters and we will do the rest.
The bigfundraising team.