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Donation Drive Action Guide How To

This action guide can be used to create an action guide for any physical donation drive including clothes, essential items, books, feminine hygiene products and food items. Please follow the guidelines below to create your Donation Drive Action Guide and tailor the steps to the goal of your donation drive.


  1. What You'll need:

    Here are some essentials that you’ll need to get started. Once you have them you’re ready to go to the next step! 

    • Bins or boxes to house the products you are collecting 

    • Money for shipping (where necessary) or to cover the costs of transportation to the drop off location  

  2. Item Collection Guidelines: 
    1. For Food Drives: For food drives, you should encourage donations of unopened packages or cans of nutritious and non-perishable items. 
    2. For Hygiene Product Drives: For some products, such as feminine hygiene products, Ask people to donate unopened boxes/packages for others, such as masks, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, request that products donated are individually wrapped/packaged for better distribuition. 
    3. For Book Drives: Think about where you would like to donate your books to and ask for donations that fit the intended audience. Some examples can be found below.
      • Prison Book Drives: For residents of prisons, books about rejoining society, addiction recovery, finding employment and learning new languages are often preferred. This wishlist
      • Shelter Book Drives: For youth and family shelters, books that teach young people about life skills such as health, hygiene and careers are recommended. For shelters that specifically house adults, more broad topics can be included in the book selections.
  3. Collection donations:  Great places to collect donations are in your schools/community centers, outside of your local mall, grocery store, bookstore or drugstore depending on the items you are collecting for the donation drive. 
  4.  Where to donate: Below are some ideas of where you can donate the items that you have collected including homeless shelters, prisons or food banks, community centres and more.  The directories included below great resources for to identify donation locations within your communities. 
    1. For Shelters 
      1. US National Homeless Shelter Directory
      2. Toronto Homeless Shelter Directory
      3. US National Women’s Shelter Directory
      4. Canadian National Women’s Shelter Directory
    2. For Food Pantries
      1. Feeding America Food Bank Directory
      2. Food Banks Canada Food Bank Directory
    3. For Prisons: Research and call your local prisons to ask if they are taking donations as some are not doing so at this time. Feel free to use the call guide below when doing so.  
  5. Confirming the donation location: Once you identify the location that you would like to donate the collected items to, call the location and find out if they are taking donations and how to donate.

Donation Drive Call Script: 


Introductions: Hi! My name is _______, and I would like to donate [clothes/essential items/books/packages of feminine hygiene products/non-perishable food items] to your [shelter/food bank/prison]. May I please speak with someone about delivering these donations? 


Explain the Donation Drive:  I learned that there is a shortage of [clothes/essential items/books/feminine hygiene products/food items] in [shelters/food banks/ prisons] so I have decided to start a donation drive through Révolutionnaire, the social network for changemakers. I would like to donate these [clothes/essential items/books/feminine hygiene products/food items] to your  [shelters/food bank/prison/community center]. Do you have the capacity to accept donations at this time? 


If yes: Ask them to confirm the address of the drop off location and ask if packages can be mailed in. If packages can not be mailed in, ask when the best time to drop them off is and who you should ask for when you drop off the donations. 


If no:  Find another [shelter/food bank/ prison] in your area to donate the items to! 

Post and inspire: Finally, post a picture of the items that you collected in the lounge or share your experiences with your donation drive in the comments below to share feedback and inspire others to do the same!