From corporate offices to daycares, sports teams to retirement communities, scout troops to churches and everything in between, local organizations are always looking for ways to give back to the community. If your group is passionate about the environment and helping people find jobs, consider hosting a Goodwill donation drive.

Although hosting a drive is simple, the impact of your donations is huge. When a customer purchases your items at any of our thrift stores in Lincoln and York, the money helps fund local programs that assist job seekers as they overcome traditional barriers to employment. Goodwill donation drives also minimize the size of our local landfill by giving your reusable and recyclable items a second life.

To maximize your fun while doing the most for your community, follow these seven steps:

1. Check for Approval

If you aren’t the head of your organization, be sure and ask for permission before planning the drive. Different organizations have different rules, and your group’s leadership might provide good suggestions for drive dates, pickup locations and other logistics.

2. Pick a Date and Location

Goodwill donation drives typically last 1-2 weeks, but we are happy to find a timeline that works best for your organization. Lobbies, common spaces or visible storage areas make good collection locations – especially if there’s high traffic.

3. Contact Goodwill

Call 402-742-8456 or email donate@lincolngoodwill.org to schedule the drive. Our Donations Acquisition Specialist will confirm available dates and help you organize a fun, successful event. Be sure to reach out at least two weeks in advance to book your spot.

4. Create an Incentive

To boost participation and morale, create an incentive for your donors. Do your donors love competition? Split them into teams and reward the group that contributes the most. Need a good laugh? Set a high donation goal, and if the group reaches the goal, have an organization leader dress up in a wacky costume (maybe something purchased at Goodwill. You know your organization best, but if you’re stumped for ideas, we are happy to help you brainstorm.

5. Spread the Word

The best way to ensure a successful drive? Let people know that it’s happening! Word-of-mouth advertising is powerful, but Goodwill can help you take your drive to the next level by providing free marketing materials, such as email announcements, flyers and social media posts. Remember to tell people when the drive is happening, what to donate, and where they can drop off their items.

6. Donate

Once Goodwill drops off the bins, the drive begins! Bring your gently used clothing, electronics and home goods to the donation drive collection site. If you don’t know what to donate, visit our website to see a more comprehensive list of items that we accept. Goodwill will also provide a stack of donation receipts for tax purposes; encourage your donors to save their receipt and use Goodwill’s online guide to estimate the value of their donations.

7. Thank your Donors

After the drive has ended, Goodwill will weigh your total donations and send you a letter or email with the final poundage. Share the good news with your donors and congratulate yourself for making a difference in the community! Not only did you host a successful donation drive, but you also supported local job seekers on their journey toward employment. Click here to learn more about Goodwill’s mission and programs.

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