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How to Support Your Local Backpack Program

By: Brittany Engelmann-- 2017-02-28 7:00 am --

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in your community, supporting a local backpack program through a DIY fundraiser is a great place to start.

Here are 5 steps you can take to conduct your own fundraising campaign to support your local food bank and backpack program.

Locate

Many food banks and nonprofits have a Backpack Program to help feed local residents in need. To get started, contact a local food bank, and ask what they need.

Make a list

Once you know what your food bank needs, make a list. Getting specifics on what they need and the best way to get the items to them will help you in promoting your campaign. By communicating with them beforehand, you can be sure that the items you’re collecting will benefit those they’re intended for.

Plan your fundraiser

Next, start planning your fundraising campaign. Set goals based on the food bank’s needs, such as “x number of canned beans or boxes of pasta”.

Raising money to purchase items is also an option. Sites like Generosity allow you to set up a fundraising campaign at no cost and let you set donation tiers.

Donation tiers give the opportunity to get creative with your campaign. Consider your financial goal and how that breaks down into items. For example, if you’re raising money to fill x number of backpacks with pantry items, price out what will go in each backpack. Giving tiers could then be based on number of children provided for, number of backpacks filled or goods purchased.

You can also reach out to local sponsors and ask for support. As an incentive to contribute to your campaign, have a plan in place to promote their business and advertise their support.  

Promote

Once you have your plan, it’s time to launch and promote!

Let your friends and family know on social media about your fundraising campaign. Tell them what your project means to you and let them know how they can help. Set a time limit on your campaign and keep your network updated on your progress.

Reach out personally to people, as well. General social media posts are helpful for getting the word out, but people are far more responsive to a personal ask. Let your supporters know that you need their help to reach your goal.

Lastly, be sure to thank your donors personally. Let them know how much their donation means to you.

Collect

Perhaps most importantly, have a plan to collect donated items. If you’re collecting items through your workplace, create a well-marked and centrally located drop-off location. If your friends and family are making donations, schedule a time to pick items up.

Finally, deliver your items to the food bank. You can either schedule a pickup from a food bank representative or drop the items off yourself.

To show your supporters what they helped accomplish, take pictures of everything you collected during your campaign and demonstrate the impact you have had. It’s a fantastic way to show your supporters how much their contributions are appreciated.