Man carrying donation box

How to Organize a Donation Drive

In the past couple months, we have gotten some incredible donations to support our homeless shelter, from community members like you. You may have seen some of our posts about these donations on our Facebook page. So maybe you are wondering – how can I organize a donation drive in my business, workplace, or organization? This blog post will help you do just that.

Although we appreciate donations made to Interfaith Community PADS, there are so many other worthy nonprofit organizations in La Porte County that could use your help too. This tutorial on how to organize a donation drive will assist you in planning and executing a drive no matter who the recipient will be.


In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)


3 Steps to Organize a Donation Drive

We’ve broken the process of how to organize a donation drive into 3 easy steps. Check them out below.

Step 1: Planning

Planning is a necessary part of organizing a successful donation drive, and there are many elements to consider.

Assemble a Crew

A donation drive does not have to be complex. If you stick to the basics, it can reasonably be organized by one person. However, it is always a good idea, when possible, to divide up the work. Plus, everything is more fun when you do it with a team!

Here are some roles for which you may want to consider finding team members:

  • Chairman who oversees all the details and answers questions.
  • Coordinator who will work with the selected organization in planning and delivering the donation.
  • Coordinator of promotions, including any flyers, emails, and social media posts.
  • Coordinator of delivery, including managing collection boxes, storing donations, and arranging a pickup or delivery when the event ends.

Choose an Organization

With your crew in place, it’s time to select the organization to which you will be collecting donations. Interfaith Community PADS homeless shelter is one option, but there are a lot of other worthy causes in our community. Talk to your crew and narrow down a few possible choices. Remember, any organization that is not chosen this time can be the recipient of another donation drive in the future!

Select Specific Donation Items

Now you will want to select the items that people will donate. Being specific here is important: it will help the organization (because they will get the exact items they need) and it will help those participating in the drive (because they’ll know exactly what to donate without having to guess).

It is a good idea to contact a representative from the organization to which you will be donating to see what they need. At ICPADS, our needs change throughout the seasons and also depend on what donations we have gotten recently and what supplies we have on hand. The same is true for any organization you select.

Set a Timeframe

Finally, you will want to set a timeframe for when your donation drive will run. A couple weeks to a month is often a good timeframe to start with. You will need time for people to learn about the event, time for them to gather donation items, and time for reminders (as we live busy lives and it is easy to forget, even if you walk by the collection bin every day/week).

Step 2: Collecting

Now that we’ve reviewed how to organize a donation drive in the planning phase, it’s time to get to the heart of the matter – the drive itself!

Choose Drop Off Locations

An important aspect of collecting donations is to choose the location or locations where items can be dropped off. Select high-trafficked areas, so your donation drive will get more attention and it will be easier for people to donate. If your business/workplace/organization is large, consider having multiple donation spots. 

When you’ve selected your location(s), you’ll want to set up a bin or box for people to place their items in. To really stand out, use a branded bin or write the organization/drive name right on the bin so people understand the purpose of the bin at a glance.

Hang Flyers

You’ll also want to hang flyers about the donation drive near the drop off locations and around other high-trafficked areas, such as doorways, hallways, and elevators. The flyers should have all the basic information that someone would need to understand the drive and how they can participate.

  • Who is the drive for?
  • What items should be donated?
  • Where should a person bring their donation?
  • How long will the drive last?

You may also want to put a sentence or two about the organization, why their work is important, or why they were selected as the recipient of the donation drive.  

Send Emails

Sending an email is another great way to get the word out about your donation drive. Plan to send one on the first day of the drive, and include all of the important information that you added to your flyers. Another good time to send an email is a couple days before the drive ends to let people know this is their last chance to donate. Depending on the timeframe of your drive, you may also want to send a reminder email (or two) in the middle of the event too.

Get Social

Posting on social media is another way to promote your donation drive, and it is particularly important if you (a) don’t have an email list to tell people about the drive or (b) want outside help from the community, such as if your business is running the drive and you want customers to participate too. Post on your favorite social media channels, and make sure the post has all the details as are in your flyer.

But there are other ways to ‘get social’ too. Does your business/workplace/organization use an online message system, such as Slack? Post about the drive in one of your channels! Or do you hold meetings – either on Zoom or in person? Make an announcement so that everyone knows about the event.

Step 3: Delivering

So now you’ve finished the main event. Our last step in how to organize a donation drive includes the things you should consider when you are ready to deliver the donated items.

Review and Sort

Although not always necessary, this can help the organization you are donating to with processing the donations they receive. Review what has been donated and remove any items that are unrelated to the drive. You can also sort the donations into specific boxes to make it easier for the organization. For example, if you are doing a clothing drive, you may sort the donations into men’s, women’s and kids clothes.

Promote the Results

Celebrate what you have achieved! Everyone who participated will want to know how successful the drive was, and how impactful the donation is as a whole. Take a picture of the donations you received and use all the promotion methods mentioned above to give a ‘recap’ of the event: post on social media, send an email, create a flyer, etc.

Arrange Pickup or Drop Off

Finally, you’ll want to transfer the donated items to the organization you selected. To ensure a smooth process, contact the organization to arrange a time to drop off the donated goods. Or if that is not possible, see if someone from the organization can pick up the donation. Depending on how large your donation is, you may need to have extra people on hand to lift, carry, and deliver the items. You may also want to take a final picture when the donation is delivered. Include in it the donation itself, and representatives from your company/organization and the organization to which you donated. 

There you have it – how to organize a donation drive in three simple steps! Donation drives are a wonderful way for your business, workplace, or organization to get involved in the community and to give back to a worthy cause. When you divide up the work and follow these steps, you’ll find that a donation drive is simple to execute and a rewarding experience for all.And if you do choose the homeless shelter at Interfaith Community PADS as the recipient of your donation drive, you can learn more about donating here, and contact us via this form or on our Facebook page to speak to someone about your drive.

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