Donation Drive Ideas

Want to take on a philanthropy project that includes collecting items for charities or nonprofits? Here are some ideas about where to start.

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What to Collect

First, select a charity or nonprofit and ask them what they need. Perhaps they post a list of wanted items on their website or you may need to contact them. Their needs may be seasonal, so make sure you're collecting what they need right now, as they may not have enough storage to hold items for an extended period of time. 


Here are some places that may benefit from your donations. Reach out to them to see what they need. 

  • Hospitals 
  • Libraries 
  • Schools
  • Youth & Shelter Services
  • Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Senior communities 
  • Food pantries 
  • Women's shelters
  • United Way 
  • Red Cross 
  • Campus Career Services offices may have an interest in partnering with you on a business attire drive for students 
  • Other local charity organizations
  • Ask alumnae if they're involved in any charity organizations 


Here are some items that the organizations may need. Which of these spark your interest?

  • Books 
  • Prom dresses (ask local high schools if they would like prom dress donations!) 
  • Clothes 
  • Diapers and wipes 
  • Winter gear (hats, gloves, coats)
  • Chemo care packages 
  • Blankets 
  • Backpacks and school supplies 
  • Canned food and other items for food drives 
  • Professional attire for career fairs or women's charities 

Make a Plan 

Once you've selected a charity and confirmed what they need, make a plan. Here are some pointers:

  • Ask your members to donate. 
  • Host an event and ask for donations as admission. 
  • Ask alumnae and parents to bring donations. 
  • Post on social media about your donation drive and share updates. 
  • Share your donation drive goal and post updates about your progress toward the goal. 
  • Share pictures of your members collecting donations. 
  • Engage other sorority and fraternity members in the donation drive and ask them to help you publicize the event. 
  • Send a media release to your campus newspaper about your project so they can help promote. 
  • Share your impact on social media, with your campus newspaper, and in your alumnae and parent newsletters. 

Donation drives are fun projects for members to do together and make a positive impact. They can help create a culture of giving and service in your chapter. AND they also show others what is important to your members - making a positive impact!  

Donation drives are generally considered philanthropies because you're donating resource (vs. time or effort). Read about service project ideas and also check out the difference between service and philanthropy. These projects are among my favorite for sororities because it benefits others and helps us grow personally as well (and that's what sorority is all about!). Also check out 20+ philanthropy fundraiser ideas for your chapter. 

What donation drives will you coordinate this year?