How Teens Can Help Food Banks Through Fundraising

food bank

In a previous article titled “How to Help Food Banks as a Teen”, we mentioned that one way to help food banks in your local community is to launch fundraisers. In this article, we are going to model out what a hypothetical fundraiser for a food bank would look like so that you can take this model and perhaps implement it in the real world. 

Before we dive into the article, it is worth noting that fundraising for a food bank is where you focus on raising money for the specified food bank. Food banks may need money for operating expenses or even to help with food donations, as they can use the money to purchase discounted canned goods, for example. 

It is really important to check if the food bank that you want to help allows for monetary donations, as some don’t. In addition, this article’s fundraising steps are targeted towards high school students that are setting up fundraisers that involve their schools and students in the community. 

Step 1: Create a Plan

The first step towards helping a food bank in any form, whether it be a fundraiser or a food drive, is to make a plan. More specifically, choose a fundraiser idea, decide which food bank you want to donate to, create a timeline that mentions when you will start accepting donations and when you will stop accepting donations, decide who you want to be a part of your team, and write down how you will get the school or community involved. 

Some fundraiser ideas to consider include bake sales at your school, hosting a charitable sports tournament (like handball, soccer, or volleyball and charging players a fee which will go towards the food banks), or even setting up donation jars near the cafeteria. It is worth mentioning that some schools require a regulatory process for approval and you might have to work with your school’s faculty to get your fundraiser up and running. So, keep in mind that a valuable party that you will be interacting with are principals and teachers, who will decide if you can proceed with the fundraiser. 

During coronavirus, some ideas that might be more applicable to the current times include selling masks and donating the profits, creating care packages and donating the profits, or finding ways to sell a good or raise money so that you can give the proceeds to a food bank. 

In order to get support for your fundraiser (and even get it approved), make sure that you draft out your “business plan” which will have all of the details that are included in your plan like when and where the fundraiser will take place, where the fundraiser will donate to, clubs or organizations that might be working with you to support the fundraiser, and what the proceeds will help with at the food bank. 

Step 2: Executing the Fundraiser 

Once you have been approved with your fundraiser and the first day of donations kicks off, you are now in go-mode. Focus on how you will drive your message across the community and especially with students at your high school, as they will be the ones who will be donating. Consider running a social media campaign on Instagram or Facebook to drive awareness, have your morning news shout you out during announcements, and even print out or email flyers to students and teachers. 

Because of coronavirus, your school might not be open, and that is fine! Consider opening up a donation box in a safe place like the lobby of your school where people can come and donate to your fundraiser. Or, accept donations through Venmo or PayPal. 

Step 3: Donating the Proceeds

Once your fundraiser is over, it is now time to donate the proceeds. Figure out if your food bank that you are donating to wants cash, check, or electronic fund transfer. Then, aggregate all of your funds and donate the proceeds in the way that was specified by the food bank. Oftentimes, it is good to keep track of how much money you raised and/or ask for a receipt when you donate the proceeds. 

Step 4: Measuring Results

The last step of your fundraiser is more of evaluating how well you did with the fundraiser and what you can improve on. It is often a good idea to take some notes as to how you could have changed certain parts of your fundraiser in order to raise more money or awareness in the future. 

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