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Fundraising Tips

Whether you host a traditional food drive or a virtual campaign, the more engagement tools you use to get your donors to take action and support your food drive, the greater success you will have. There are countless ways you can encourage people to get involved. We've outlined our top ten suggestions below. We encourage you to get creative and use what works best for your organization.

Start a Food Drive!

1. Set a Goal

Setting an ambitious yet attainable goal can help provide more focus to your collection efforts. Create a "thermometer" or chart to track your progress, or use the one on your customizable web page provided after Registering your food drive.

2. Recruit Champions

Invite several enthusiastic people to support your food drive by asking them to help coordinate logistics, start and lead a team, or encourage others to participate. You may even want to consider organizing a small planning committee. The more people you have supporting your food drive, the more success you are likely to have.

3. Create a Theme

Giving your food drive a theme is a great way to get people excited about participating. Consider organizing your food drive around a holiday, or ask people to donate a specific food type. See our list of Creative Theme Ideas for examples and suggestions that will help get your creative juices flowing.

4. Organize a Special Event

Consider combining your food drive with a special event. Offer a reduced ticket price to a theatre performance when attendees bring food donations, or use food donations as payment at a bake sale or ice cream social. Ask people to bring food donations to your next holiday party. You could also allow employees to wear jeans to work one day if they make a donation to your food drive.

5. Use Promotional Tools

Utilize common areas to hang posters, goal tracking charts and other announcements about your food drive. Food drive bags are also a great way to remind people to participate: ask them to take the bag home and return it full of food. Use our Supply Request Form to order the supplies you need.

6. Create Friendly Competition

Organize teams by department, floor, classroom or other small groups and see who can collect the most donations. It helps if the winning team is rewarded with a special incentive or prize.

7. Provide Incentives

Prizes and incentives are a great way to increase overall participation. Consider offering a prize to the top donor or team, or providing donors with entry into a raffle drawing. Incentives do not need to be expensive or large. Consider offering the winner a scratch-off lotto ticket, a prime parking space for a week, the ability to sleep in late or have a free day off, or a free coffee or lunch on the boss.

8. Get Management Involved

Having support from your organization’s leadership can help emphasize the importance of your food drive efforts. Encourage leadership to set an example by making a donation, or ask them if they would be willing to show their support by sending an email or making an announcement at your next meeting. Use the Promotional Email/Letter Template to help them craft a personalized message.

9. Double Your Donations

Participants will feel like they are making an even greater impact if they know their donations are being matched. Talk to your company’s Human Resources Department to find out if they have a formal matching gift program. Or consider asking your organization’s leadership or a partnering organization if they would be willing to match your donations. Matching does not always have to be dollar for dollar. Get creative: match $1 for each pound donated or give them a turkey for every box of food collected. See our FAQs for more information about how to submit corporate matching gifts.

10. Communicate Online

Let everyone know about your food drive and how they can help via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Provide status updates, reminders and special call outs to individuals and teams. See our Guide to Social Media for recommended social media posts. We also encourage you to update your food drive’s customizable webpage throughout your drive.

Did you have success using one of these fundraising tools? Please take a moment to share what worked for you. Share your Success Story.

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