4 Steps to Take When Starting a Charity Donation Center After a Natural Disaster

November has made its arrival so that means the holiday season is fast approaching. It's the time of the year for giving back and helping others in need come. It's the time of the year where many take time out to donate.

Photo by  Matthew Henry  on  Unsplash

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash


A whopping $390.05 billion was donated in 2016 to charities alone. Whether it be donating clothes, shoes, or can goods, we all just want to lend a helping hand. This year is really crucial to donate given the many natural disasters that occurred within the last few months.

Hurricanes have swarm across some of the southern U.S. coast and have left many in disarray. While donating is very helpful, people tend to hesitate on donating because they don't know if their donation is truly going to the people in need.


Below is steps on how you can start your own donation center when disaster strikes, so you will never have to hesitate again:


Decide on your donation. Are you donating goods, services or money? When a natural disaster takes place, many just need basic essentials for survival. After Hurricane Harvey, one could only imagine what people are feeling and what they have lost. Homes destroyed, no food, clothing or toiletries is just a small portion of how life took a sudden turn. It could be as simple as donating bottles of clean water to drink. You just want your donation center to specify the donation it provides so you can start contributing your service


Research and Connect. Do research and contact local nonprofit organizations. Your goal is to start a donation center in order to assist when natural disasters occur. You want as many eyes on your center as possible. Many organizations are willing to help, you just simply have to ask. You could establish an early collaborative partnership especially if your donation center provides something different than the local nonprofit organization.

People are willing to provide and give information especially if it's for a valuable cause. By contacting other local organizations, it can create trust with your donors. It not only tells them about your goal and intent, but also lets them know you are serious. You want to ensure that this is no scam or someone is being taken advantage of. You are truly trying to help others in need.


                          Related: The power of a collaborative community


Spread the Word. Now it's time to inform people that you have started a donation center. Nobody will know who to donate to if they are not aware. Let's get the word out by starting with your social media platforms. Its free, creates conversation and can inform instantly for everyone around willing to be involved. You could also use free websites to create your own site. You could use a crowdfunding website to fundraise if the donation is not goods or services.

Photo by  Kelly Sikkema  on  Unsplash

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Another option would be to create your own flyers or posters to further promote as well as calling up your local radio station. You want to raise awareness that your center is willing to help. Tell everyone  that you know ranging from family, friends, colleagues and people in passing. You never know the possibilities that your center could provide not only for the people in need, but for the individuals that are interested. A person may be searching for a donation center to give their unwanted or lightly used items


Storage space. How are you planning to gather donations? Where are you housing all these donations once received? You don't necessarily need a building to get your donations especially if you're just starting out. Many ideas come to mind when you're being creative in a way that benefits others.

To get started, you first want to start small with what you have and with what's available. You can host a small event, contact a church, call friends willing to help store items, schedule a meet up at a local park to drop off items, rent out a small storage unit for a fee or even use extra space in your home to house small items. If you want to start your very own center, you just need the desire to help and the willingness to do it. 


Have you ever thought about starting your own donation center?

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I'm Jalei,  a young  professional based out of northern California. I'm a graduate of the Art Institute of San Francisco with a Bachelor's Degree in interior Design that enjoys being creative. I have worked with several architectural and customer focused firms along with a select group to establish creative environments to service customers over the last few years. My modern, quirky, hip style is a burst of energy that keeps me going.  Leading the pack in my own way through writing, designing and expressing creativity by assisting others in recommending design tips and projects to uplift my peers and followers.

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