You have probably seen donation boxes or jars near the cash registers at businesses in your community. These can be a great way to gain not only money and awareness for your cause, but also publicity for your organization. Your organization can make the donation containers or your can buy professionally made containers at a very reasonable price. The ideal container is a see-through one because potential donors will be able to see that money has already been donated and will be motivated to give their own spare change at the cash register. The donation container should have an opening that is small enough so that money cannot be removed and it should have a lock. You can also simply use a large glass jar with a small opening, or a five-gallon bottled water jug to collect donations.
Your organization should make sure that you produce an attractive, compelling promotional piece and affix it to the container. The more information you present the better. Let the public know basic information about your organization, how much money you need, what it will be used for, and when it will be used. For example, in the beginning of the school year, your organization could place donation boxes with businesses asking for money for a spring trip. It is usually best to collect money for a specific project. However, some organizations, such as animal shelters, collect money for general operating expenses.
A variation on donation boxes is to offer candy in exchange for a donation. Many restaurants have a bowl of mints at the cash register. Your organization can make or purchase a display with a section to hold candy along with the section to collect the money. You can buy candy in bulk and collect donations in exchange for a piece of penny candy.
When people donate their spare change at the cash register it can add up to a nice sum of money every month. Local small businesses are usually happy to help out organizations in this way. Test your locations and collect the money once a month or more often. When placed in high traffic areas a donation box or jar can raise $40 to $60 per month for your organization or cause. That comes to as much at $720 a year per donation box.
Do-it-Yourself Fundraising recommends placing donation boxes at businesses throughout your community to help raise money for your cause. Visit http://diyfundraising.com for more information and ideas for creative fundraising for nonprofit organizations.