5 Steps for Running a Back to School Drive

Run a Back to School Drive

Starting the school year without the necessary school supplies can very well slow student growth and mask potential.

When you donate useful supplies, you alleviate financial pressure off teachers as well and help enable them to educate their students with the essential materials.

Running a back to school drive in August is a great way to engage your team in a meaningful way. Not only will it empower team members, but will also demonstrate your company’s commitment to their community and the future leaders of tomorrow!

5 Simple Steps for Running a Successful Back to School Drive

1. Reach out to your local organizations.

Find out what supplies are in demand. While donated items are always well intentioned, nonprofits need to have a clear distribution plan in place to ensure the donated items reach their intended recipients. Sometimes donated items can end up being a hassle for nonprofits if they don’t meet their requirements or they don’t have a plan in place.

Not sure where to start? Here is a list of some amazing nonprofits that are committed to supporting children in need:

2. Select items.

Participants will need a list of items to purchase. As previously mentioned, reaching out to a local org is the best place to start. If for some reason they don’t have specific requests or you don’t know where to start, creating a list of basic school supplies works great too! 

3. Create a theme.

There are multiple ways to have fun with a back to school drive theme. Here are some ideas:

  • Run a traditional drive. A traditional drive would involve sending out a list of items that the nonprofit has requested and encourage team members to simply bring as many of these items in as possible. Simplify tracking efforts by creating a rubric for average cost of items instead of tracking receipts.  
  • Host a scavenger hunt. A scavenger hunt is a great way to engage your team in a fun environment. Each team starts with a backpack and a list of items. First team to finish filling the backpack wins. Hireminds is a great example of this. They start off their summer outing every year with their Backpack Project scavenger hunt in support of Pieces of Home. It is a very popular event!
  • Fill a backpack event. Another option would be to bring the items into work as donations and have a team event in-office (or a remote call works too!) while you fill the backpacks together. This is a great extra step that will encourage item donations and team bonding too!

4. Spread the word.

Communication is key! Create buzz by choosing one of the competitive themes to get employees excited. Here are some of the best ways to guarantee employee engagement:

    • Involve stakeholders. Studies show that when upper management engages in the communication process, employees are more likely to participate.
    • Educate employees. Pre-event efforts, such as a video clip or a nonprofit guest speaker, gives employees a pulse on who or what they are supporting.
    • Host a drive during work hours or during a company event. If the drive is during work hours or as part of a team building activity (as opposed to an optional weekend activity), more employees are going to participate. This is a great opportunity to create a heart for impact among those that might be newer to volunteering.

5. Track results.

Tracking results is essential for reporting a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility at EOY. This data has become more and more of an essential as company’s are now expected to participate in social impact initiatives. And let’s not forget about that competition factor!🤩

Want to run a drive with easy tracking? Check out our new drives platform

Pro tip: Want to make it competitive? Create teams based on departments, locations, or whatever fits best for your company culture. Item tracking can be set up to go to different teams. Encourage giving in an exciting way!