How to Run A Successful Online Shoe Drive Campaign

In this article, I will show you how to run a smart shoe drive that will help you collect 500 pairs of shoes and money for shipping without asking your donors to give more.

How to Run A Successful Online Shoe Drive Campaign

In this article, I am going show you how to run an online shoe drive campaign to collect 500 or more pairs of shoes? And the best part is that you’ll also raise enough money to cover your shipping costs without asking your donors for more donations.

Well, give me 10 minutes of your time, and I’ll show you a smart way to run a shoe drive.

What is a Shoe Drive?

Before we talk about an online shoe drive, let’s first look at the traditional Shoe Drive. The shoe drive is a type of fundraiser where supporters are asked to donate gently used shoes. The shoes collected are either sold to companies like Funds2orgs or sent directly to the cause.

I know you must be saying, “I don’t want second-hand shoes. I want to collect brand new school shoes so I can send them to Africa or somewhere.” RIGHT?

Well so am I. Am talking about a way to ask your donors to buy shoes and pay for shipping without spending any more money.

Why Shoe Drives Work

Whether you’re collecting shoes for sale or sending to your cause, A shoe drive is a great and fun way to engage your donors in your purpose. This works so well because people don’t have to write checks to your organization.

Another great example why a shoe drive campaign is great for your organization is that many people would prefer to buy you shoes than give you money. This is the reason why most people prefer buying gift cards for someone’s birthday or special occasions. Many times I’ve heard ladies complain when they’re asked to give money at a bridal shower.

What is an Online Shoe Drive?

Clothing and shoe drop box to help the needy

An Online Shoe Drive has the same concept as the traditional shoe drive. The only difference is that the online shoe drive has a more significant reach and you don’t have to set up a collection center for the shoes.

Why You Should Run an Online Shoe Drive

I have seen many organizations asking people to buy shoes from stores like Payless and asking the donors to drop them off at some dropping center or mail them. Am sure this method works but here’s the problem.

Please read the article Understanding Your Donor’s Journey. You’ll discover that emotions drive many donors’ actions. The problem with feelings is that they come and go. You want to make sure that a donor makes a move within a specified period.

For example, a friend of mine wanted to collect 100 pairs of shoes to send to Africa. He sent out emails to his donors asking them to buy shoes from Payless and then dropping them off at his house. After I received the email, I shared it with a three of my co-workers, and they wanted to help.

Even though my co-workers and I wanted to help, we had one major problem. The problem was that we couldn’t find time to go to Payless. After about two weeks we decided that my co-workers give me the money and would buy the shoes. I drove to Payless and bought ten pairs of shoes.

We ran into another problem. I had to find time to drop the shoes off at my friend’s house. The shoes were in my trunk for another three weeks. By the time I got a chance to drop them off, my friend had already shipped the shoes.

This example only shows how difficult it is to run a traditional shoe drive.

Now let’s look at some advantages of running an online shoe drive

  • It’s easy for your donors to buy and ship the shoes
  • Donor’s don’t have to write cheques
  • Many people who are skeptical about donating money can participate
  • It’s easier to ask donors to buy shoes than give money.

Now that we’ve looked at the advantages of running an online shoe drive let’s see how to organize one.

You’ll need the following:

  • Amazon Affiliate program
  • Website
  • Email List
  • Social Media
The Feet of Children Living in Poverty in Uganda, Africa

Amazon Affiliate Program

If you’re not an Amazon associate, then you’re missing out on one of the best fundraising schemes. Being an associate will allow you to earn a commission every-time you refer someone, and they buy something on Amazon using your affiliate link. Becoming an Amazon Associate is very easy and takes less than 10 minutes to complete the application.  Here’s a link.

Why Become an Amazon Associate?

For me to explain why you need to become an Amazon associate, I’d like to use the example above.

My friend wants to send 100 pairs of shoes to a school in Africa. He has a few options, but we’re going to talk about three.

Option One – He can ask people to donate money and then send money to Africa for people to buy the shoes there. This is a great option because he’ll be supporting the local industry. But we all know that most of these shoes are made in China anyway. So this would defeat the purpose.

Another reason why he shouldn’t send money is that some money will end up lost and he’ll end up not getting everything he needs. Unless he travels and does the purchasing himself, there’s a big chance that this option won’t work very well.

Option Two – The second option is asking people to buy the shoes from a local shoe store or online here in the US then shipping the shoes to him. This is a great option but, to send the shoes, he’ll probably have to ask for more donations to cover the shipping and handling costs.

Option Three –  In my opinion, this is the best option and one that I recommend. I recommend that my friend becomes an Amazon associate first. This means that he’ll get a commission on all the shoes bought from Amazon. The other excellent thing is that Amazon will pay him a commission on everything purchased within 24 hours after clicking the link.

As you can see, by using this option my friend can raise enough money for shipping. Above all, he won’t have to ask his donors again for shipping costs.

Setting up the campaign

You’ll need the following:

  • Landing Page on your website
  • Email List
  • Social Media

Landing Page

Having a landing page for your project is very important especially if you seek to engage new donors. A landing page is a dedicated page that will allow you to share only information that is related to your campaign. If a new donor comes to your page, you want them to get a glimpse of what the campaign is all about without the destruction of other unrelated information.  Your goal is to make it easy and fast for people to go through the information and make a move.

The landing page should include a call to action button, a video or an appealing message, let people know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You may also include an FAQ section just in case people still have questions about your cause.

Email List

An email list is a significant part of the campaign. You must be collecting emails from your donors and potential donors. When you’re ready to start a campaign, the first people you must contact are your donors. It is also vital that you find an excellent email automation software and management tool to help you run the campaign. I recommend ConvertKit or Drip.

The email automation will allow you to create an automated campaign. The software will also allow you to monitor how many people are opening and taking action. You will also be able to set automated follow-ups with those that don’t open the emails.

It is possible that through this campaign, you’ll gain new supporters and donors. The email automation will allow you to collect their emails that you can use for future communications.

Social Media

Social Media is always a great option for you to let your donors or friends know about your campaign. You want to make sure to link back to your landing page so that you can collect emails before you send donors out to Amazon.

Let’s now see how all these elements work together

The first thing is to join the Amazon affiliate program. Amazon goes through an approval process so make some time for that.

The second thing to do is go to Amazon.com and search for the shoes you want. It is possible for you to create a web store where you list the shoes including the sizes. This is great because you’d have control over the number and shoe sizes. But the key here is to make it simple for you. So we’ll just have people buy directly from Amazon.

Now that you have the type of shoes and sizes, the next thing to do is create a landing page on your website. You’ll then add the information you want as well as the links to the shoes.

You will then connect your email automation form to the landing page for email collection.

To sum it all up, here’s how a donor’s journey would be.

1. Receive an email with the following information

  • About the campaign
  • Number and type of shoes needed
  • Direct links to Amazon Store
  • Your Mailing Address where they should ship the shoes.

2. Clicks on the link to Amazon Store and does the following:

  • Selects the shoes and number
  • Clicks the buy now or add to Cart
  • Selects the number of shoes
  • Enter’s your Mailing Address
  • Buys the shoes

3. The Donor mails you the receipt or shipping confirmation.

Let’s now look at the new donor’s journey. We’re going to assume that this donor saw a post on Facebook.

1. Clicks on the Facebook Link

2. Lands on the campaign’s landing page with the following information

  • Video of where the shoes are going and why
  • A call to action button that leads to Amazon

3. The donor clicks on the call to action button, and a form pops up asking for an email so you can thank them.

The donor enters their name, and email and the Amazon store opens up.

To complete the transaction, the donor does the following

  • Selects the shoes and number
  • Clicks the buy now or add to Cart
  • Selects the number of shoes
  • Enter’s your Mailing Address
  • Buys the shoes

4. The donor emails you the receipt or shipping confirmation.

As you can see, the online shoe drive is the smartest and easy way to collect shoes for your cause. Start planning now for your next shoe campaign.

Create an Amazon Associate Account today and start earning commissions to fund your organization.

 

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Nelson Musonda

Nelson Musonda

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