So you’ve have a worthy cause and you want to find effective ideas to invite people to give. You don’t want your special charity donation box to lose out because you failed to spark interest. We’ve explored this and come up ten awesome donation box ideas to get people interested in your charity.
How Can a Donation Box Entice People to Give to a Cause?
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Creating a thoughtful and inviting box will require creativity and attention-getting detail. Think back on the daily routine we discussed. As you do, try to remember how many charity boxes, jars, and tins you’ve seen in the course of your life. Astonishingly enough, you’ve likely overlooked twice as many as you remember seeing. Some boxes succeed and some fail. Why is this?
For someone to give to a stranger’s cause, they have to connect to the charity. People like to feel like they are part of an effort and part of the solution to a problem. Your job is to help them find a connection point and feel like they can make a difference. This is a voluntary effort on their part, so you have to reach out to their sense of altruism.
There are many things that could inspire someone to give their hard earned money and resources to a cause. You can get their attention with a thoughtful picture, a humorous tagline, a fun thematic design, and an appeal to their compassion for a genuine need. All successful donation boxes must be in a well placed, visible, strategic location. From here we’ll show you the purpose of the donation box idea.
What Is the Real Need for Putting So Much Effort Into a Box?
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Donation boxes are inherently avoidable. Just a little lack of planning and strategy will make your donation box completely invisible to potential givers. Charities have to fight a major uphill battle. You are competing with several things when you put out your donation box:
You are competing for attention. The very nature of charitable donation boxes is that they don’t have a set location. Grocery stores, convenience stores, malls, restaurants, pharmacies, churches: all are a great place for a donation box. That said, remember that people don’t go to these places looking for donation boxes. If you don’t grab their attention, you won’t get their donation.
People have to put their funds towards personal needs. Once the bills are paid, gas is in the vehicles, and everyone is fed, there is not an infinite amount of cash left to throw around. You have to help people see the importance of surrendering some of their discretionary funds towards your cause.
People struggle to care for causes: even worthy ones. It could be that they question how their contribution could make a real difference. Perhaps the cause doesn’t seem worthy. Maybe they are just not aware of how to identify a good cause. It could be that the charitable cause doesn’t seem “real” enough.
Basic Donation Box Rules
So what are the significant features that are needed in order to get people motivated to give? We have identified the following issues at the heart of a good appeal for donation:
You can probably think of 100 charitable causes right now. The thing that distinguishes worthy from unworthy is purpose. Is there a discernible purpose for your donation box? If the potential givers don’t know why they should donate, they simply won’t. Ask yourself: would you give from your limited funds if you were not completely sure of the purpose for your giving?
Of course you can magic marker your charity on a plain brown box and hope for the best. But doing this likely means you’ve damned your donations into non-existence. Is your donation box one that gets positive attention? A colorful pattern, some thoughtful wording, a popular charity trend: the universal critical aspect to all great donation box ideas is the genuine human appeal.
This is different from appeal. Visibility is key to donation box ideas in that you have to be forward thinking about where you put it. You’ve heard the old saying that the three main components of business success are ‘location, location, and location.’ There is no difference when it comes to donation boxes. Get your box where it can be seen and accessed. People won’t be looking for your donation box, so you must put it in their path.
Places to put your donation box:
- High traffic areas
- Near cash turnover points
- Around collection points that are visible to staff (prevent theft!)
Remember our information superhighway connected world. For accessibility’s sake, add QR codes in your blurb or headline.Those who wish to donate online will have that option available to them. By scanning the code they may also be able to donate later. It could be that they just need a little more time to consider or research your charity.
Prime the Pump
Be sure to put some money in the donation box when you set it out. Studies have shown that people are more likely to give if they see that others people have supported a cause. Donors will support something that has already made money. In general, people don’t like to be pioneers.
Another study on nonprofit organizations’ has determined that transparent boxes are more successful. As with priming the pump, people like to see that others have already made donations. Get a donation box that is transparent so your donors can watch their donation make a difference.
Have someone man your donation box. Find volunteers who are equally energetic about the cause you are promoting. A representative can both engage and draw attention to the charity. When thinking through donation box ideas, understand that building relationships and having a living, personal connection will spur your donation box.
A Few Fun Ideas and Examples
Let your imagination run wild. These could help get your creative juices flowing for your own donation box ideas:
1. Themed Boxes
Themes help crystalize the cause. Think about raising funds to rebuild a habitat like a local family’s home, a shelter for the homeless, housing at non-profit zoo, or an expansion at an animal shelter. Shape your box like a house and put pictures up of anyone who will live in it. Put in a touching tagline like, “Rebuild The Smith’s Home” or “House The Great Apes.”
2. A Clever Play on the Words
Maybe you are promoting an organization that mobilizes people to make a difference through community involvement, volunteer work, or other local engagement. Creative blurbs and statements can help the money flow. Your tagline should be something like: “Be The Change You Want For To See In The World.” People will be encouraged to put in their “change” into change in their world.
3. Use Your Sense of Humor
If you make people smile, they will develop a connection to the charity you are running. Some have put plastic fish in a fishbowl with a tagline with the phrase, “I have to swim in cash–don’t let me die!” Make people chuckle with a line like, “Every time you pass on giving, a child grows a mullet.” You’ll be surprised at how well silly jokes encourage donations.
4. Make It Personal
People are more likely to give if they can “feel” how the cause touch them personally. Personalize it to their own situation. “Imagine The Time When You Needed School Supplies.” This can pull on the heart strings and stir memories so that they help a needy child get opportunities they themselves might have missed out on.
5. Make It a Competition
Find the big local rivalry and ride the wave. It could be cross town, regional, or statewide rivals on which you capitalize. Put team loyalty on the line. “Who are the biggest fans? Blue team or Red team? Let your money show your team spirit!” Sports fanaticism can fill up your donation box.
6. Use an Object Lesson
You can make use of a practical item in order to help your donors see what they are giving to. Consider the Flint Water crisis. If you put out a refillable water cooler container as your collection jar, people can connect to the problem. You can surround the collection box with the items that will be purchased with the proceeds. If you are doing a “support school children'” fundraiser, set out crayons, pencils, backpacks, notebooks, etc around your donation box. This will let donors envision exactly how they’re helping.
If you expect total strangers to give to cause “just because” you are going to do your charity a huge disservice. A good charity deserves thoughtful marketing. Give people a vision for their giving. Help them visualize the improvements they are making. By utilizing good donation box ideas, you allow the give to have an active ownership in the solution.
Remember: you are reaching out beyond the sphere of immediate friends and family. These people will give beyond the pain point, so you are now working into those who can “buy into” your donation appeal. Your thoughtfulness is a key selling point. Abstract fundraising will not help people or projects with significant needs. Put your heart into it and your cause will reap the reward!
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