Setting up a shoe fundraiser is hard work, but there is always a fear that all your hard work won’t pay off. Collecting shoes for your shoe fundraiser is an integral step that can often be overlooked as something that will just happen.
And, luck only plays a small part in fundraising. To make the biggest amount of money from your shoe fundraiser, you’ll want more than luck. Don’t miss the small things when setting up your shoe drive, it’s the most simple ideas that get skimmed over and forgotten.
Steps like finding where to put your shoe collecting bins, or what marketing your shoe drive really means can lead to a domino effect of not collecting a large number of shoes. Don’t let that happen to you, instead know the best way to collect shoes.
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Find your locations
Tap into the part of you that knows your town like the back of your hand. Think about everyone you have met and worked with and any favors that people might owe you. Having a shoe fundraiser be successful is all about the location of the collection bins, and before you can start collecting shoes, you need to know where you’re going to collect.
Great places to set up your shoe drive will be churches, schools, local businesses, and high-traffic places.
Ask everyone in your group if they go to a church, then ask if they would kindly see if a shoe drive collection bin can be placed in the entryway of the church and if the church would be willing to place an advertisement in the bulletin.
Ask what school the group’s kids go to. Schools are a great place to get foot traffic. Students can ask their parents for old shoes and teachers can clean out their houses as well. You might even luck out and snag a few pairs from the lost and found at the school.
Think of high-traffic places in your local area. In small towns, post offices are often busy or a local hardware store. Local businesses are the best places to find help with shoe drives. The businesses are intertwined with the community and it would only hurt them to deny a local shoe fundraiser.
Once you have a list of approved businesses, churches, post offices, schools, and any other places you thought of. Give them a schedule of pick-up times as well as your contact information or the contact information for the collector.
Market your drive
While marketing your drive may not seem like the way to collect shoes, it plays a big part in the shoe collection. Getting the word of your shoe drive out into the world will affect how many people will drop off their shoes. Look into websites like Canva for simple and easy-to-use design templates, or ask your shoe drive facilitator about marketing materials, companies like angelbins.com have many items to drive up publicity for your shoe drive fundraiser. Create a cohesive look for your drive so your shoe drive sticks out to people and builds trust.
Remember to always have digital versions of your printed materials to give out in case a drop-off location would like to print flyers or publish in their marketing materials.
Create social media pages or events for your shoe drive and publish the locations of your collection bins. During the event, post pictures of the pairs of shoes you’ve collected or the volunteers hard at work collecting shoes. Digital offers the best way to reach a large number of people, and shoe fundraisers are a great way to take advantage of that number.
Join local social media groups and post about your drive. Invite friends to your event and share posts and stories about the shoe drive. Encourage your group to do the same as well as like and share information from the page itself so their friends or followers also see it.
Start the collection.
After you have collected responses from your locations, it’s time to start the collecting processes. Set out your well-marked bins in well-lit, high-traffic locations of the places. Try to avoid setting your bins in corners or near trash cans or recycling to not confuse people where the shoes will be going.
If the business you are placing your shoe drive bin in has a reception, ask if you can leave flyers or information brochures of your cause that include highlights of your shoe drive on their desk. Putting more marketing materials in front of people will make it more likely to stick with them.
Make a personal connection with the places you are leaving bins. If you are in charge of collection bins throughout the shoe drive and do not previously know the people of the location, introduce yourself and start a conversation with them. Making a personal connection with the people in the place encourages word of mouth marketing and could bring in more shoes to your shoe drive.
Modify the schedule.
Don’t be afraid to modify your collection schedule. Oftentimes, a schedule feels set in stone and unchangeable if other people know about it. But, if you notice bins overfilling after your first pick up, discuss with your team to change pick up days. In some cases, picking up weekly may be necessary. Other times, if you notice very little shoes, talk to the place the bin is located and discuss how often people drop shoes off. You could move the collection day to offer more time for people to drop off shoes.
Keep marketing your drive.
During the shoe drive, you may start to feel fatigued about the fundraiser. It may feel like you’re spamming people with your fundraiser and you don’t want to upset or turn anyone away from donating to your cause. But, think about how many different people you talk to throughout the shoe fundraiser. There will always be someone who doesn’t know about the drive, or just joined a group you’re advertising to and is hearing about your shoe fundraiser for the first time.
Don’t lose hope before the end of the drive and keep marketing to everyone you know.
You will have a successful shoe drive with a little hard work during the start of the shoe drive. Don’t overlook the simple ideas your group may have to drum up people because that just might be your key to success.
Do you have any ideas for collection bin locations that we didn’t list? Share them below and let others learn from you!