30 Ways to Give

There are innumerable ways to support The FOOD Pantry, and most of them can be done in your everyday life. The trick is to devise a simple, creative and fun way to get people involved. Reward people for donating, cut costs in your life and donate some of the difference, or make a game out of donating to encourage participation.

Here are 30 easy, engaging and clever ways to raise donations in your home, office, community, or social circles. Try the ones that best suit you or use this list as a jumping-off point and come up with an idea of your own! Share you idea, the results, or both on our Facebook page and see if your "Way of Giving" catches on.

  1. Coordinate a tried and true fundraiser like a bake sale, rummage sale, car wash, book reading, bowl-a-thon, seasonal activity or concert and donate the proceeds. Find out what people want and provide it for them, like selling lemonade in the summer and hot chocolate in the winter.
  2. Refrain from your favorite indulgence, daily specialty coffee, e.g., for a week and donate the amount you saved.
  3. “Brown-bag it” with your co-workers and donate whatever your take-out lunches would have cost.
  4. Host a potluck dinner and charge a small rate to participate and eat.
  5. Consider a corporate match to any fundraising effort coordinated by employees.
  6. Offer a discount on a service you provide (barbers and hair stylists, tax service, snowplowing, oil change, carwash, etc.) for a donation to the Food Pantry.
  7. Award Casual Dress Days to employees participating in your company’s donation drive. Think jeans, Packers gear or something silly, like Hawaiian shirts.
  8. Coordinate a weekly or monthly food drive at your workplace, school or congregation that focuses on a single food item.
  9. Distribute paper or plastic bags to employees/co-workers on Monday for them to take home, fill and return by Friday.
  10. Collect spare change by placing a container in your cafeteria or front office to collect coins and bills as people go by.
  11. Encourage healthy competition between classrooms, departments, divisions, floors, etc. to raise the most food or funds. Have fun and be creative! Reward the winning team with a nice lunch or the chance to hurl water balloons at their boss.
  12. Hold a raffle or auction. Solicit donations from your employer, local companies and co-workers and donate the proceeds to the Food Pantry.
  13. Give a “Free Will Offering” by foregoing some leisure, your company's holiday party, e.g., and giving the money saved to the Food Pantry.
  14. Coordinate a food and/or cash drive in your neighborhood or subdivision.
  15. Collect personal care products for those who live without these basic products.
  16. Collect baby food, formula, diapers and baby care products for those who can't afford them.
  17. Collect gift cards for grocery stores. Make a goal to collect as many cards as possible from every one of your friend/family/work circles. The cards are used to provide special needs items.
  18. Organize a “Souper Lunch” fundraiser in your a neighborhood, congregation, office or community group. Create several different homemade soups, partner them with crackers & breads and have guests pay a flat rate to try them all and donate the proceeds.
  19. Reduce the price of admission with a food donation. Partner a drive with an event, using four or more cans of food as free or reduced price admission.
  20. Start a Penny War by placing large, identical containers in different classrooms/departments and having a race to fill the jars with coins and bills, assigning value to each currency. Coins have positive values, bills have negative value, and the idea is to have the most value in your container when it’s full. Create competition by quickly filling your container with coins and sneaking bills into opposing containers. Have fun by creating your own rules and regulations.
  21. Honor/Memorialize someone you care about by making a donation in their name. Spread the joy from a loved one's birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, job promotion, bar/bat mitzvah, confirmation, life, etc. across all of Waukesha County. We will then send a letter celebrating the honoree, thanking the person for inspiring the gift.
  22. Donate the cost of your usual holiday cards and send a simple postcard instead, wishing everyone on your list well and letting them know of your donation.
  23. Coordinate a “Just Desserts” fundraiser and invite your friends, relatives, co-workers, book club, etc. to a buffet of scrumptious homemade desserts accompanied with coffee. Charge a flat rate and donate the proceeds.
  24. Coordinate a “White Elephant” gift exchange using only re-gifted items. The game lets players steal someone's already opened present or take a risk on possibly better, unopened present. Be creative, have fun and be ruthless! Donate what you would have spent on new presents to the Food Pantry.
  25. Make the Food Pantry a beneficiary in your will.
  26. Donate the assets from a gift exchange to the Food Pantry.
  27. Turn any special gathering into a food drive by asking guests to bring non-perishable food items.
  28. Donate food at your local grocery store. Food Pantry barrels are conveniently stationed at many supermarkets around town, so you can purchase and drop off your donation in one simple location.
  29. Donate 10% of the winnings from your weekly card game (Poker, Bunko, Sheepshead, etc.).
  30. Arrange an automatic monthly donation from your checking account to the FOOD Pantry.