The Donation Tin
A donation tin is a classic and effective form of fundraising and can be approached in a number of ways.
While I was out shopping one day, I was standing in line at a fast food chain to buy lunch for one of my kids (don’t judge me 😉 ). I found myself staring at the donation tin sitting next to the cash register thinking ‘Why wouldn’t our P & C adopt that idea?’.
Here at the Fundraising Directory, you will often hear us bang on about the importance of having a donation tin at all of your committee’s events. Whether it be selling raffle tickets at the local shopping centre, a bake sale or a sausage sizzle at Bunnings, you will always find someone who may not want to partake in whatever it is you have on offer, but they will happily support your cause and drop some coins, or notes if you’re lucky, into your tin.
So I started to think about how this concept could be taken to the next level. Without just limiting your donations to where you are at that moment in time, I concluded that you must be bold and take a leaf out of the big charities books. Create awareness of your cause in multiple locations without having to be there. But before venturing ‘out there’ you need to cover your home base first.
Charity begins at home
We are all too familiar with the fact that you will never get everyone on your committee. There are many who will pass through your doors who may not be able to donate their time but will support you financially and so your first point of call should be your school admin or your clubhouse. Mums, Dads, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, grandparents, friends and even staff who will avoid ongoing commitment like the plague but are more than happy to anonymously drop a few bucks into your donation tin.
To infinity and beyond …
From there, it’s all up to you how big your range can be. Talk to your local shopping centre management as well as individual shops in the local area. Be aware though, that when it comes to the big chain supermarkets and departments stores, you will more than likely need to speak to their head office to get approval. But on the plus side, you may be surprised at how open they are to the idea. Not so long ago, I walked through a major shopping centre to find a large number of the shops there had the same donation tin at their cash register.
The golden rule
The most important thing is that if you want people to put their hand in their pocket you MUST communicate your fundraising goal effectively. Every tin must tell potential donors what you are raising money for in order for them to take an interest in your cause. Keep it simple and to the point to get the best results.
As for the ‘tin’ itself, it doesn’t have to be an elaborate thing. For your own events, you can make it as simple (and cheap) as an empty jar with a label on. If you can’t communicate your message on the pot or jar, make a laminated sign and attach it.
There are a whole lot of options when it comes to donations tins. Some would say that a clear container is more effective because when people see money in there already, they are more likely to contribute. The downside of this is that these containers can be more expensive so stick with what suits your budget. You can find cheap donation tins on eBay. Alternatively, you might find a sealed money box at your local discount shop.
Fundraising Whisperer Freelance Writer
Regina is a mother of three and a P&C President. She knows firsthand the ups and downs of volunteering.
Originally published 24 May, 2017
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