What is the potential of a cell phone and consumer electronics collection drive as a fundraising program?

What is the potential of a cell phone and consumer electronics collection drive as a fundraising program?

We have had collection partners raise over $20,000 from a single drive and others raise less than $100. You are the only person who can assess this and we strongly encourage you to give it some thought. There are well over 100 MILLION retired cell phones and other electronics in the United States gathering dust in people’s homes and offices. Most people are quite happy to find a worthy cause to donate them to. Running a successful collection drive, however, is the same as running any successful fundraising drive. Your success will depend largely on the preparation and effort you put into it. Based on our experience with the most successful drives, we would suggest you consider incorporating at least some of the following elements into your Recycling Fundraiser collection drive:

  • Set an aggressive but achievable goal in terms of the number of items to be collected or dollars to be raised. Make sure people know what that is.
  • Utilize our marketing materials (available in our online Resource Center) and your own creativity to “get the word out”. People need to know you are collecting consumer electronics and jewelry and what the money you raise will be used for.
  • Find creative ways to challenge and motivate your core team of volunteers. Will they benefit directly from the funds raised? Would it be worthwhile to provide some sort of recognition or prize for those who collect the most items? Schedule regular get-togethers for individuals to bring in the items they have collected – make it a social gathering and have fun.
  • Determine what group of donators you wish to approach and determine the best way to address them – by letter, neighborhood door drops, email, through their children, in combination with some other event, etc. Don’t restrict yourself to the obvious. Employers often have a large number of surplus cell phones, how can you approach them to donate? Be creative and solicit other involved parties for suggestions.
  • Make use of the fact that the donations are tax deductible. Used electronics and jewelry have no value to most people. A tax deduction will provide them with value as well as a sense of having contributed to some worthy cause and protecting the environment.
  • Don’t rely on people to bring you their items, often they have trouble remembering. If someone indicates they have phones to donate offer to pick them up or find some convenient means for them to give them to you.
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