It's not just about charity...it's better for you!
Organising a charity drive can be hugely beneficial to a cause that is important to you. Here's how you do it.
If you don't already have a cause in mind, you'll need to hone in on your purpose. Perhaps you know someone who is in need, just found out about a natural disaster on television, or happened to come across a charity that caught your attention. There are many important causes out there, but there are a few things to keep in mind when picking your cause:
If it is only a small group or individual, you may want to just collect things from your house and notify only neighbors and friends. No cause is too small, but if you get so many people involved for a very small need, you may end up with too many donations.
Do your research into existing charity efforts to support the cause you have in mind. There may already be quite a few others out there hosting drives, to which you might want to donate to instead of hosting your own. Find out what the existing options are; you may want to focus your local drive on supporting a broader charity effort, if it already exists, rather than starting from scratch.
For example, instead of asking people to donate generally to hurricane relief, ask them to donate clothes for the people displaced by a particular recent hurricane. Picking a focused "ask" will make the organizing of the donations later on easier.
Try to get information on what is needed by the people affected by your cause; contact the people or groups involved first, to make sure you're driving people to donate the right items.
Decide what you're going to do if someone just wants to donate money. You may find some people want to support you but only have money to give, not the items you're requesting. Assuming you don't want to deal with taking cash or handling payment details, you might want to have a card or flyer ready that shows them how to donate money to a similar cause (or the parent organization you're doing the drive for).
Ideally, you should have more than one collection day. You might use your home as the location (which is often easier), but if possible, get a place that is easy for the community to access (with permission).
Make sure the setting is large enough for the types of donations you're gathering. If you'll be taking the donations home with you, keep the location close to your home to make transporting the boxes easier.
The more people involved, the more likely you are to be successful. Ask friends, family, group members, etc. for help. This will get work done quicker (especially when you start sorting out donations), and if someone has organized a drive before, they may have good advice for you.
Put up posters around your community, and ask a couple of friends for help handing out flyers. Also, try asking businesses if you can put some up in the store windows or leave a stack on their counter. Plus, even if the owners decline, they will at least know of your drive; maybe, they will donate an item or two themselves!
Some networks let you create an online event. Try contacting your local newspaper to put up a post for your drive. If you know someone who can create a website, you could ask them to make one for the event, if needed.
You won't want to face a mountain of them at the end. Label your boxes according to the specific donation you asked for. For example, if you asked for clothes, sort them into children's clothes, men's clothes, women's clothes, etc.
If you are contributing to multiple charities, then make sure you sort which donations go to which charity.
Not only is it wonderful to see what you have accomplished, but the people who donated will want to know that they did so for a reason; sharing your success with them will help them feel appreciated for their efforts.
Post the number on social media; this may motivate people to donate in future drives (if you hold more). Plus, you will be able to compare back to this event in future drives, if you're able to grow your impact down the line.
If you are donating to an organization, they may be able to send trucks to pick them up. Otherwise, you may have to use a pick-up or van to deliver the donations yourself.
Once people see how successful you are, they may be motivated to host their own charity drives. Plus, this will make people more willing to donate again if you are to host future drives.
Try sending thank-you notes to everyone who participated or even donated, if possible.
You don't have to - you can still use the directory.
But, if you do register, you can choose which charity you want to benefit from your searches. (As well as a few other advantages.)