Along with health and financial issues, homelessness is one of the major problems that veterans are experiencing. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of the United States aims to prevent such issues by collaborating with private individuals and groups, such as faith-based organizations.
Donation drives are essential activities that are usually initiated by churches and community centers. They collect and distribute move-in essentials and provide security deposits for homeless Veterans.
In this article, you’ll learn how to set up a donation drive for veterans in need properly.
Identify Potential Donors or Stakeholders
The first step in setting up a donation drive is to identify all potential donors or stakeholders. They can be private individuals, members of the clergy, any congregation, or organization with vested interest and heart to support homeless veterans.
Here’s how to identify potential donors or stakeholders:
- Find a local Veterans Affairs Homeless Outreach Coordinator.
- Contact the VA coordinator so you can discuss your plans for a VA donation drive. Determine if there are homeless veterans in your local area that you should prioritize.
- Ask the VA coordinator about potential stakeholders and a need for specific move-in items that you’re probably not aware of.
Set Your Goals
Set clear goals to have a basis for measuring the success of your donation drive.
Here are some examples:
- All donated items via easydonationpickup.com, for instance, will be brought onsite and benefit a hundred percent of target recipients by the end of the quarter.
- On the day of the main event, at least 50 community center employees and church members will be onsite to provide support.
- At least 1000 items will be collected for VA donation.
To provide logistical information, meet with volunteers and staff members. This meeting is the perfect time to outline their roles and share event materials and presentations.
To ensure every aspect of the event is taken care of, make sure that you delegate tasks, such as assigning someone to handle:
- Reserving the venue
- Printing handouts
- Greeting donors or stakeholders and other attendees
Logistics involve setting a date and time for the donation drive and ensuring the proper preparation and flow of the event. When choosing the date of the event, make sure to consider important factors that may affect attendance, such as community events or holidays.
Here’s how the event preparation should flow:
- Identify and contact the community center or church coordinator in advance so that you can reserve a space. There should be sufficient time to conduct the event set-up and cleanup.
- After reserving the space, make sure to prepare all the needed resources, such as a microphone, audiovisual equipment, camera or photographer, badges for volunteers and staff members, printing services, laptops or tablets, and tables and tablecloths.
- Set a means to track attendance and ensure that all event materials, like badges and handouts, are printed before the event.
- Confirm the space reservation and conduct a walk-through in advance to have an idea of the most effective way to set all equipment and other things needed for the event.
Develop a Communications Plan
Good communication is a must for donation drives. That’s why you have to develop a good communication plan for potential donors and other significant people involved in the event.
You can provide email notifications, text messages, and FAQ information for all stakeholders and staff to use. Also, you can use social media to get connected by creating a Facebook page for your donation drive and notify everyone via Messenger.
Day of the Donation Drive
Make sure to arrive early at the venue to address any potential problems and last-minute issues, making prompt changes as needed.
Check out the following reminders on the day of the donation drive:
- Set up booths, tables, and audiovisual equipment.
- Test all devices and equipment.
- Place appropriate signs on entrances to welcome all guests and direct to the event place.
Conduct a Follow-up Survey
A donation drive that builds inexpensive homes for veterans is a good idea to help prevent homelessness. That’s why the success of such an event can be realized by conducting surveys every after event.
Aside from the actual donation drive, it’s also important to plan to conduct a follow-up survey during the donation drive or collect feedback. Make sure to gather feedback or conduct a survey, with plenty of pencils or pens and a survey form. Provide clear instructions on how to submit surveys, like placing them in a dropbox, in the registration area.
Now you’re more aware of the essential steps on how to set up a donation drive.
It all starts with proper preparation by identifying potential stakeholders or donors, meeting your staff members and delegating responsibilities, reserving the space, creating a proper flow of logistics, and developing a communication plan. Don’t forget to prepare surveying to gather feedback during the donation drive.