Tips Planning a Successful Back to School Supply Drive
As the beginning of a fresh school year looms nearer and nearer, it’s a perfect time to consider how you and your company can help a child in need. There are more than 16 million children that live in extreme poverty in the United States. These children are not sent to the first day of school with the supplies that they need to be successful. Starting off the school with proper supplies has been found to promote learning with children, boost self-esteem in students, and help keep kids in school. The idea of organizing and promoting a back to school supply drive can be daunting, so we have compiled a short list of tips and tricks for putting on a successful event.
Start Planning Early
It may seem silly to begin planning a drive before the kids are even out of school, but we recommend beginning the planning process as early as possible, ideally in the late spring or beginning of summer. This is because all donated supplies will need to be gathered, sorted and delivered before the beginning of the next school year in August. End of summer? It’s not too late. Kids need supplies year round – not just the beginning of the school year, so feel free to jump in whenever possible.
Pick Your Beneficiary
The next step in planning your event will be to select a school or non-profit to benefit from your drive. Once this selection has been made, you will be able to consider what supplies you will need to create a successful drive. For example, the needs of an elementary school student will be very different than those of a high school student. Contacting a school district authority can be a great first step for determining which schools or nonprofits are in the greatest need of aid.
Compile a List of Needed Supplies
Speaking with a teacher, principal or office administrator can help in determining exactly what supplies are in demand. Common supplies include: paper (copy, lined, construction, composition notebooks, index cards, etc.), pencils and pens (colored pencils, markers, blue or black pens, #2 pencils, etc.), general supplies (dry-erase boards, paper clips, binders, etc.), and classroom supplies (staplers, rulers, glue sticks, scissors, tape, tissues, hand sanitizer, etc.).
Determine Supply Drop-Off Dates and Locations & Plan a Last Day Event
Once a beneficiary has been found, it’s time to find the perfect location to hold your drive. Local community locations including the YMCA, faith organizations, your local library, community center or schools are great options for drop-off locations. Drop-off locations should be convenient and easy to locate, with obvious and easily identifiable signage for donators. This location should be staffed with volunteers to handle the collection of donations, as well as receptacles for holding all donations.
On the last day, plan a thank you event to draw crowd with games, baked goods and a raffle to generate the conversation (and supplies). Don’t forget to sign-up for a Text Event Pics Event Phone Number so everyone can text in their photos to promote the next event, or submit to your local newspaper following the drive.
Promotion of your supply drive is imperative to your event’s success. Notifying local newspapers, PTAs, community organizations, faith organizations, libraries and similar organizations of your event will help raise awareness in your community. Promotional materials including flyers, brochures, pamphlets, business cards and postcards can help further spread the word of your event. Finally, notify your family, friends and co-workers of the event! There is nothing quite like word-of-mouth to help advertise and promote an event.
Collect & Sort Supplies
Once all supplies have been collected, it is imperative to divide and organize donated materials to be distributed. Not only will this process aid in the even distribution of materials, it is also an opportunity to take inventory and tally all materials collected. This information is key to determining the success of your event!
Now for the Fun…Delivery!
After your drive has been completed and supplies have been collected, tallied and organized, it’s time for the fun part…delivery! This is the perfect opportunity to gather promotional materials for future events. Photographing the delivery process and sharing images from the event is the perfect way to share the success of your event with donors, volunteers and all those involved in your drive. To maintain the professionalism and privacy of your event, text in images to your unique event phone number created just for your event. This gives guests an opportunity to view, share and engage with images capture during your private event, safely and securely.