Studies have shown that starting the school year with the necessary school supplies promotes learning, boosts self-esteem, and helps keep kids in school. Unfortunately as states have cut school spending, schools are providing less and parents are being asked to purchase even more school supplies for their children. Financially strapped families often struggle with how they will be able to purchase all the necessary supplies in time for the start of school. School supply drives help ensure that all kids have the same opportunities to start the school year right and YouGiveGoods online drive system makes school supply drives easier than ever.

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School Supplies

Lower income kids have many hurdles to overcome. Working hard and staying in school offer a glimmer of hope for a better future. But staying in school is difficult if you don't have the right supplies. Kids may already feel out of place, and showing up without the proper supplies just makes them feel worse and like they just don't have what it takes to succeed.


But you can help and make the difference in the life and future of a struggling child by running a school supply drive. Here are some tips to running a successful drive:


  • 1) Start planning in early June. Remember, all school supplies need to be collected and sorted or ordered and shipped by mid-August to get to kids in time for the start of school. Yes, it is funny to be thinking about back to school before the kids are even out of school, but the timing is necessary to make your drive work.
  • 2) Choose a nonprofit or school. It is likely that there are multiple organizations, programs and schools that would love your help collecting supplies for their lower income students. (Need help finding a local charity? YouGiveGoods can help connect you with a worthy recipient in your area. Check out some of our recent school supply drives.)
  • 3) Compile a most-needed items list. If you are collecting for high school students, you won't be needing crayons. The more direction you can give potential donors the better. YouGiveGoods has worked with schools and nonprofits to compile a list of most-needed items which are pre-selected and available for your online school supply drive.
  • 4) Set up collection boxes in convenient locations. The more drop off locations, the better. Be sure to surround them with lots of signage regarding the drive. And, it's a good idea to place some donated items in each bin - people can be wary of being the first to place a donation in an empty bin. Or, skip the hassle of collection boxes all together by running your school supply drive online. YouGiveGoods handles all the logistics for you!

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  • 5) Run an online school supply drive or add the online shopping option to your existing drive. The logistics of a traditional collection box drive can be cumbersome for the drive organizers as well as potential donors. YouGiveGoods online drives are free to run and offer pre-selected most-needed items lists for your convenience. YouGiveGoods drives are easy to set up, fun to use, effective and efficient. And, they are easily promoted via email and social media. Now, friends and family across the country can support your cause by shopping your online drive. And, you can put limits on items so you don't end up with 30 binders and no filler paper! All goods are delivered to the school or nonprofit recipient at the close of the drive. See how Jersey Cares used YouGiveGoods to raise almost 4,000 school supply items for area children.
  • 6) Enlist corporate support. Reach out to local companies and ask for their support. They can help with a monetary donation or placing bins at their office, by sponsoring an online drive for their employees, or by supplying employee volunteers for collecting, sorting and distributing. Be sure to prepare a detailed outline of your drive including goals and execution. Corporations may be more likely to support a drive when they realize you have already done most of the work for them! And corporations love when you choose YouGiveGoods because they can watch results in real-time and receive detailed reporting. See how Northrop Grumman used YouGiveGoods to raise over 7,000 school supply items for lower income children in 26 schools across the country.
  • 7) Promote, promote, promote! People are busy and although they may want to help, they will need multiple reminders and opportunities to contribute. Remember to engage and remind them on social media and include an online shopping option whenever possible. A key benefit of a YouGiveGoods drive is that it is made for social sharing and engages friends and family where they spend much of their free time -- on their social networks.
  • 8) Collect and sort donations. Make sure you leave enough time to make your delivery day.
  • 9) Plan a momentous delivery day. Make delivery day an event. Enlist volunteers and make it fun. Take pictures and share your photos of you success with donors. And, telling a great story will help set the stage for next year's drive!