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Get Creative with Donors

Food banks rely on the generosity of donors and companies to provide food to people in need. However, it can be challenging to keep donors engaged and motivated. Here are 5 creative ways to engage with donors and companies at your food bank.

1. Host a Food Drive

This is a classic way to engage donors and companies. You can partner with local businesses, schools, or community groups to collect food donations. You can also set up a donation bin at your food bank or other convenient location.

2. Create a Corporate Giving Program

This is a great way to engage companies that are looking to give back to the community. You can offer companies the opportunity to match employee donations, provide food donations, or sponsor events.

3. Start a Crowdfunding Campaign

Take advantage of donations platforms.  This is another creative way to raise money for your food bank quickly and easily. You can create a crowdfunding campaign on a platform like GoFundMe or Crowdrise.

See this example in action here on GoFundMe.

4. Partner with Restaurants

Many restaurants are happy to donate food to food banks. You can partner with restaurants to host food drives, donate surplus food, or offer discounts to food bank clients.

5. Host Educational Events

Showcase your community efforts and programs through educating donors and companies about the issue of hunger. You can host tours and events on topics like food insecurity, the importance of donating food, or how to make healthy food choices on a budget. These are just a few creative ways to engage with donors and companies near your food bank. By getting creative, you can raise more money and food to help people in need.

Here are Some Additional Tips for Engaging with Donors and Companies:

  • Personalize your outreach. When you reach out to donors and companies, make sure to personalize your message. This will show that you appreciate their support and that you are committed to using their donations to help people in need.
  • Tell stories. Stories are a powerful way to connect with people and inspire them to give. Share stories about the people who are helped by your food bank and how their lives have been changed.
  • Make it easy to donate. The easier it is for people to donate, the more likely they are to do so. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and that your donation process is simple.
  • Be grateful. Always be grateful for the support of your donors and companies. Let them know how their donations are making a difference in the lives of people in need.

By following these strategies, you can engage with donors and companies in a way that is both creative and effective.

In addition, connect and engage with your local food bank partners and other non-profits.  You are dealing with the same challenges and can learn how to be more successful from each other. Here are a few food bank names that have made a big impact with their campaigns.

  • Feeding America: Feeding America is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. They have a network of 200 food banks that provide food to people in need. In 2021, Feeding America raised over $8 billion in donations.
  • The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army is a Christian organization that provides a variety of social services, including food assistance. In 2021, The Salvation Army raised over $1.9 billion in donations.
  • Second Harvest Silicon Valley.  Second Harvest Silicon Valley raised over $100 million in donations in 2022. They served an average of 500,000 people per month. They partner with over 400 nonprofit organizations to distribute food.

These are just a few examples. But they all use similar strategies to have positive engagement with donors and success with donations. Reach out to your local non-profit partners, speak with the communications staff to get best practices and ideas to help your food bank succeed in future campaigns.

Partner and Find a Local Food Bank Near You

Local food pantries, in partnership with food banks, create a comprehensive network that collectively works towards combating hunger and building stronger communities.

Find a Food Bank in California

Find a Food Bank Nationwide

Read additional stories from our blog.


*photos courtesy of The Foodbank Inc., WXII News 12, GoFundMe,

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