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How do I set up a food drive competition?


A fun twist that can increase the success of your food drive is to add some competition to it. Many people have strong competitive spirits, so this addition can make your food drive more fun AND more successful.

Here are some ideas of how to include competition in your food drives:

If you are a local food pantry in a small town, why not take advantage of home town rivalries during football (or other sport) seasons. Food pantries have very successfully pitted their local teams against one another. The food can be collected at the weekly games and at school, and a trophy given to the school with the highest totals. This works at middle schools, high schools, and especially at colleges.


Different classes at a single school are often very competitive with one another. Take advantage of the rivalry and give them the opportunity to outdo one another in charity. Work with school administrators to host a pep rally, organize collection locations, and find ways to make it fun for students. A pizza party prize or a donation to the winning class will give an added incentive for winning.


Pit business competitors against one another, or hold a competition where multiple businesses from the same field all compete together. For examples, law firms, accountants, or tech companies could have their own competitions with awards for the most successful food and funds drives. Notice I added funds to these drives… these can be great opportunities to bring in new donors. A note with this kind of competition… it will take you several years to get this really rolling. You’ll start with a few competitors at first, but can add new ones each year until it is very strong. Having the right online donor tools to support this kind of competition will make a big difference. You want teams to be able to see their fund totals and compare them with their competitors.

One way to maximize your business competition is to have high level business executives challenge one another on behalf of their businesses. Silly rewards like the CEO of the winner getting to throw a pie in the face of the CEO of the loser can make it fun as well.

If your drive is a very large-scale, you could create a competition between geographic areas. If you can organize neighborhood collections and tally food separately, pitting different neighborhoods might be a good way to stir up competition. You could also do competition by city or even county.

The bigger the competition, the more you should consider creating an online presence to help people see the totals. Information makes a big difference in the decisions that they make.

Looking for more articles on food and funds drives? Try these:

Check out The Fundraiser’s Playbook for a full list of fundraising articles.

Would you like to learn more about raising money for Church and Ministry? Check out Letters From The Almoner, now available on Amazon.com.

Image courtesy of Michel Rathwell, via Creative Commons License, some rights reserved.
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