How to Get Backpack Donations

by Michelle Sherman

Many families cannot afford all the supplies necessary to outfit their children for the school year. There are several organizations in existence that collect backpacks and school supplies and distribute them to needy children. If you see a need for a backpack donation program in your community, you may consider heading up a project to gather donations for children. With some hard work, a few dedicated volunteers and some fundraising know-how, you can help make a difference in your community.

Write a carefully thought out, error-free letter requesting donations of money or goods to area groups and businesses. Be sure to include information on how the group's donation will be used. Point out how a donation will reflect positively on the group or company, and invite representatives to any public events you may hold.

Construct a short, snappy press release asking for community donations. Send this release it to local news agencies. Include information on types of donations sought, where donations should be sent and how donations will be used. Be concise and check to make sure your release is error-free. Typos and grammatical mistakes will detract from your credibility.

Create boxes in local schools and businesses where people can drop off donations. Promote the boxes with fliers and press releases. On your fliers, include a list of places, times and dates people can drop off donations, as well as a list of suggested items to donate. Consider occasionally sending volunteers to stand near the boxes during special "donation drive" times so they can answer questions about the project.

Design a social networking page or campaign for your project. Include information on how and what to donate, as well as links to any press the project has received. Send the link to personal friends and professional contacts, especially any group or business that has donated to your cause. Post photographs of people dropping off donations and include frequent updates on your project's progress. Share the link on free community newspaper and forum sites that allow such links.

About the Author

Michelle Sherman has been a journalist since 2006. She started her career at "The Peoria Journal-Star," a mid-sized daily in central Illinois. She then became the education reporter for "The Galesburg Register Mail," a small daily in central Illinois. An English and communications major at Monmouth College, she received her Bachelor of Arts in 2007.

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