Monday, November 21, 2005

A recipe for the holiday blues

According to this online article at, donations are down sharply at Food Banks in some major US cities. The article goes on to quote officials representing these food banks attributing the decline to "donor fatigue."

What should the food banks do to encourage more donations? Should they send out the same appeal as years prior, talking about the number of children and elderly that use their services and need your help? That will appeal to those loyal donors who give to the food banks year after year, but how about trying something along a whole new line of appeal.

Take what I talked about in this blog entry and turn it into an organized practice.

If I was Director of Fundraising at a Food Bank, this is what I would do to fight donor fatigue:

> Create a website and/or a simple pamplet in the form of a recipe or shopping list.
> Encourage everyone whose hosting a party through the holidays to send this pamphlet along with their party invite. (Of course, through a website, people can RSVP with the items they're bringing ensuring little to no duplication of items donated).
> Include a downloadable PDF document for hosts that want to collect financial donations and have tax-receipts issued
> Get a local courier company, delivery company whatever to agree to donate a day of a couple of their drivers and trucks to pick-up these items the next day from the party.
> Encourage the host of the party to take a picture of all of the items collected at the party together and then get a volunteer at the foodbank to take a picture of all of the food collected from these types of events and create a downloadable template thank-you card for the host to send to all the people at their party.

If you're a charity and decide to use this idea, please let me know. I'd love to know how it goes. But the good news is we don't have to wait for a charity to offer this idea. This idea in some simple form can be done very easily. If you decide to do this at your party, please let me know. Maybe we can create a flickr tag for it.

Or tell me why this idea doesn't work or needs improvement.


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