7 Things You Should Know Before Organizing Your Own Donation Drive
During a time of crisis, some of us are fortunate enough to feel secure in our own homes and suffer the least consequences. For those with generous hearts, donating, be it in cash or in kind, is a great option to be able to give back to those who are less privileged and in need. And, if you feel like you can extend a helping hand to the next level, perhaps organizing your own donation drive has also crossed your mind.
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, a group of friends who each have a significant amount of following on Twitter did just that. Spearheaded by AC Soriano (@ItsACsLife,) along with Hershey Neri (@heyhersheyy,) Gigi Esguerra (@gigiesguerra,) Yani Villarosa (@yanihatesu,) Chloe Lopez (@TheSarangheOppa,) and Paul Paguio (@sirpaulmaynard,) the #GandangBardagulan2020 donation drive gathered around P500,000 in just three hours. Yep, that's what happens when people use their platform for the good!
— AC #FreeMassTestingNow (@ItsACsLife) March 18, 2020
And in case you're wondering how you can start your own drive, we asked a few tips from Hershey who, aside from helping out in this COVID-19 cause, also coordinated her own relief drive a few months ago during the Taal eruption. Here, she shares some practical advice if you want to step it up and look after your community when the need arises!
1. Work with people that you trust.
One thing that Hershey points out is how her experiences in donation and relief drives have always been founded in group effort. It's even better when you're working with friends, so you know that things are less likely to go wrong. "Only work with people you trust—as in people you know and trust," she emphasizes. You will be handling money and various sorts of pressure during a crisis, so it's best if your team is tight-knit!
2. Set up an account solely for donations.
If you're giving people the option to donate money and not just goods, having a separate bank account is highly recommended by Hershey. "I have two existing bank accounts, so I transferred all my money to Bank Account A, so that Bank Account B would be reserved only for donations. This way, hindi ka malilito sa influx of money kasi hindi siya nakahalo sa personal money mo." You may also opt to open a new account in case you don't want to use your existing one/s.
You guys! We just reached P456,791 in 3 hours! Thank YOU for your generosity! WOW!
These will all go to our fellow Filipinos in need--PUV drivers, frontliners, the homeless, etc 💛
Salamat sa bayanihan 😍🙌🏼🇵🇭 #GandangBardagulan2020 pic.twitter.com/OUVHrbrLpM
— HERSHEY NERI ✨ (@heyhersheyy) March 18, 2020
3. Make use of digital banking.
According to Hershey, you should make the most out of digital banking because it has its perks when you're coordinating your drive online. "Life is so much easier with QR codes and bank apps because you can easily transfer money and track." Now, you just have to be tech-savvy real quick to minimize the hassle!
4. Use social media wisely.
"You'd be surprised at how powerful social media is," Hershey claims. "It's always good to remind ourselves to think before we post, because we never know just how much impact one post can have." With just a few tweets, their team was able to raise half a million which could literally save lives. Now, ain't that the kind of "influencer" that the internet needs?
But if you don't have as much following, that's nothing to be worried about. If people can see how sincere and organized you are, then they will surely want to help out. Or, you can also tag those online personalities to help you spread the word!
Can you imagine?! 😭 50-peso & 100-peso donations do go a LONG way! With your donations, we were able to reach almost half a million pesos--and counting!
Salamat po. We will be very transparent & honest with your money. Para sa ating mga kababayan ❤️🇵🇭 #GandangBardagulan2020 pic.twitter.com/0PmJlRBCbd
— HERSHEY NERI ✨ (@heyhersheyy) March 18, 2020
5. Look for legit beneficiaries.
Once you've set up your drive, the next most important thing to plan is to which organizations or communities would all (or parts of) the donations will go to. You have to make sure that the people's money go to real beneficiaries! Hershey advises, "Look for legit NGOs. Interview and talk to them first. Do a background check." This way, you won't be running into scammers which would only rob those who are in actual need of well-deserved help.
6. Be transparent.
Since you're dealing with an emergency situation, the money you receive should go as quickly as it came. But once you've deployed the donations to the rightful people and organizations, make sure to keep receipts and proofs of purchases. "Post or send updates so that you have a transparency report to donors. You'll be surprised at how much money you'll get, so always be honest," Hershey says. "Remember this is not your money, but the people's!"
Thanks to your generosity, we were also able to send P22,800 to the frontliners of Ospital ng Maynila. Thank you to PLM med student council for spearheading this one!❤️
Salamat po! #GANDANGBARDAGULAN2020 pic.twitter.com/Pd3mPqGA0g
— HERSHEY NERI ✨ (@heyhersheyy) March 21, 2020
Yes, you may be doing an act of service to the world, but, at the end of the day, you are no superhero. Hershey's tip is to avoid working 24/7, and setting a schedule can help with that. And, of course, you can't carry all the load on your own. "You cant do it alone, dapat may team ka of people you fully trust. Bayanihan ito, 'wag mag-sarili!"
If you ever decide to push through with your own donation drive, make sure to keep Hershey's tips in mind! It's hard work, but if you have the passion to alleviate some of the difficulties that your community is facing, then we're pretty sure that it will be all worth it. The world truly needs more people like you, so keep giving and inspiring! Hats off to you!