Just as with traditional cash campaigns, the number of ways to encourage noncash donations is limited only by the imagination. Organizations that make donating fun, create urgency with deadlines, and promote previously unknown giving opportunities to donors are more likely to spark creativity and generosity.
Publicizing that you accept noncash donations should always be emphasized alongside your normal giving forms. But once you create a secondary avenue for donating, one that allows your donors to feel directly part of your mission, you will see a change in how people view your organization.
Read below for some tips on how you can build a successful noncash giving campaign.
Variation on a Theme: Collect Similar Things
Donors may not know the kinds of items they possess that your organization would find valuable or even accept, so direct them with specific, fun campaigns.
Are you fundraising for a female-focused cause? Theme a retreat or other women’s event around purses and ask attendees to bring designer handbags to raise money for the cause. When they place their purse at the designated spot, they can be guided through the quick online donation process. Be sure to let everyone know at the event that it’s not too late to donate. Just give them instructions on how to do it on their phone right in the moment. iDonate will follow up with them to implement the donation.
A 2020 report by the Mercator Advisory Group states there is up to $3 billion in gift cards that go unredeemed every year. Once February rolls around, remind people of the gift cards they may have already stashed away in a drawer to take part in a gift card drive. This can be a great way to encourage generosity at a time when finances may be stretched thin.
‘Tis the Season: Create Your Own
Think beyond holidays and traditional giving periods. Create your own annual noncash events tied to donors’ seasonal activities.
Put out an end-of-summer call for recreational vehicles like RVs and boats that have to be winterized, reminding owners who may be using them less and less that they can eliminate the high cost of storage and maintenance and benefit your organization.
Spring Drive for Winter Gear
Once the weather starts warming up, people will be rearranging their closets and breaking out their spring and summer items and putting away their winter gear. Use that as a time for people to donate their winter gear like skis, snowboards, and snowmobiles that all carry extra value that can be turned into additional funds for your campaign.
Game the System: Put the “Fun” in Fundraising
Fun and games are guaranteed to ignite participation. Give people a competitive reason to rummage through their closets and garages.
Nothing galvanizes fundraising like friendly competition. Pit groups of staff, men vs. women, or staff vs. board members to ‘fundraise’ for noncash donations. Give your donors a list of items you can accept, and allow them time to clean out their garages, all for a good cause. If you’re fundraising for a specific event, be sure to allow time for liquidation of items.
Make giving a game! Create bingo cards — either digitally or on a mailer — that list different categories of items that can be donated (vehicles, electronics, etc.). The goal is for a donor to try and fill up as many of the bingo squares as possible by making noncash donations that fall under the different categories.
A more simplified version would be to create and post a bingo card on your website. Ask all of your donors to work together to help you fill in at least one item from every noncash donation category on the card during a set period of time. And once the card is filled, it will trigger some special celebration event.
Double Your Impact Challenge
Give your donors the opportunity to double their impact by challenging them to donate a noncash gift that’s similar or equal in value to their cash gift. Provide suggestions of commonly donated items that fall within that particular dollar value range. We can even help with that!