Not-For-Profit Bargains Blog

Back to School Kits for Less!

You want to do more but lack of funding, and busy days don’t always support your efforts. I know from experience that trying to gather many different items to create one kit can be stressful, expensive, exhausting, and let’s be honest, not fun. Take a moment and remember why you do what you do. Your efforts and time are helping people that aren’t necessarily as fortunate as the rest of us, and by building these kits the youth and children you are helping are receiving the education they deserve. You are an amazing person so sit back, relax, and let me be your “how to build back to school kits for less” guide.

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start… retail is more expensive than wholesale and you should always remember this. If you say goodbye to retail and shop wholesale you can build up to 4 times the amount of kits. Okay, let me shed some light on exactly what is going to change:

  1. You will no longer have to run around numerous retail stores after work or on the weekend sourcing items for your back to school kits. As a result you get more you time.
  2. The money you save shopping wholesale means you can build more kits. As a result more people are receiving help.
  3. More kits = more students receiving the education they deserve. You are changing lives.

Let me be the first to welcome you to the club, the wholesale club that is. Now that all of your shopping and purchasing can be done from the comfort of any chair/sofa, all that’s left to do is decide what to put in each kit. Take a look at a supply list to get you started. If you have any questions we have a ton of experience in this field and are always happy to help.
Money and time have been saved so all that’s left to do is get others involved. Why not encourage people within your community to build kits and give back. It may seem like an overwhelming task, but trust me, it is easy and also a real achievement. Once you have these people on board you can turn this into an annual event. I hear you ask “how does this idea work?” – Let me explain.

  • Spread the word and let everyone know that they can sponsor their very own “Back to School Kit.” Use social media, send emails and texts, and why not even pick up the phone. Flyers are a great way of getting your message across.
  • Remember to invite everyone who has sponsored a kit to the party and encourage them to bring friends.
  • DJs are everywhere so why not ask around and see if they will donate a couple of hours to come and play music at the packing party.
  • There is no need to spend money catering this event; all you have to do is ask people to donate snacks and drinks. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how generous others can be, so next time you are at the supermarket or ordering coffee why not mention your event and ask these businesses to help.
  • Photos, photos, photos! Ask everyone to take photos and share them on the Facebook page and Instagram account you will create.
  • By allowing donors to see where their money is going will encourage others to help.

This may seem a little overwhelming so I will share a few extra tips on how to make it a success:

  • Be organized, have a plan for how things will go that day – we can offer you a ton of advice!
  • Think about the timeline, there are multiple ways to make a packing party quicker or last longer.
  • Take lots of photos share them on social media, in your newsletter – show others how great it was!
  • Have a representative from a school or whoever is giving out the kits to come and speak to your volunteers. They can share the stories and tell your volunteers how valuable these kits are and what a difference they are making.
  • Make the most of your enthusiastic volunteers! Let them know you plan on doing DOUBLE the kits next year and you are starting to plan for it now, so ask for donations/sponsorships right away. Use the same idea if you have another event for winter items etc.
  • Have a sponsor board and print a photo of a back pack and allow the donors to write their name on the photo, and then post it on the board.
  • Start well in advance, the timeline to fundraise and purchase your items before the packing party needs to be considered.

Bringing people together is a tremendous achievement, so whatever happens always remember to have fun and smile. Whether you pack 50 kits or 500, you should never forget the wonderful impact your efforts have. I mention this in most of my blogs and I think it is important for everyone involved, if the packers don’t get to deliver the kits please make sure they see where the kits end up. This is the end of the story and important for that emotional attachment, especially if you want them to return to your packing party next year. Enjoy!

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