Over the years we've seen great examples of groups creating uniquely creative collections. Take a look at some new takes on a classic idea. Maybe it will inspire you to try something new with your collection this year!
Our Favorite Types of Collections
The "School Outfit" CollectionEverybody loves an opportunity to express themselves, why not allow folks to do it while also collecting money for a great cause? St Rose of Lima School in Rockaway Beach, New York, offers the students an opportunity to pay one dollar to participate in a "Dress Down Day". Northgate Middle School in Kansas City, Missouri, holds their collection to coincide with School Spirit Week. They told us, "Middle School students love to dress up and show their support for a good cause."
The "Competition" Collection
A little competition can be a great idea to inspire motivation. Some groups like to make the competition between teams competing in the Super Bowl. Saint Mark's Episcopal School in Upland, California, setup two tables - one for each team playing. Students then "voted" for their favorite team by putting their donations on the corresponding table.
Rather than NFL teams, New Tech High @ Coppell in Coppell, Texas, decided to compete between themselves. They held a competition between grade levels to see who could raise the most:
"We hold an annual challenge between the grade-level classes and the faculty. The competition is stiff for earning the bragging rights of being the Souper Stars for that year ... Fostering a spirit of giving in the school culture is the most important factor, but the fun competition drives the enthusiasm. Our learners look forward to this each year."
The "Let's Eat!" CollectionNothing inspires groups to participate like coming together for a meal. Centering your collection around food can also be a great way to drive home the importance of hunger when you think of those that can't be there to celebrate with you. Not to mention you get to use some great "soup" puns!
Many groups will have a luncheon to correspond with the time leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. Elkton United Methodist Church in Elkton, Michigan, had a very successful soup luncheon after worship services on that Sunday. Susan Herford told us more about her group's collecting: "The soup, salads and desserts are all donated, and the collection that is taken at the luncheon is giving to the local food pantry"
First Presbyterian Church of Tequesta in Tequesta, Florida, holds a "Sub Sunday" where the youth make sub sandwiches for the congregation to eat while watching the game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Riviera Presbyterian Church in Miami, Florida, came up with a unique way to raise money for those attending. "[Attendees] pay a fee based on several categories," explained Barbara Prieto, "Are they going to watch the game? Do they know what teams are playing? What's the Super Bowl?"
The "No Youth? No Problem!" CollectionSouper Bowl of Caring is not just for youth - we also accept those young at heart! The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program in Illinois (RSVP of Kane, Kendall & McHenry Counties) decided to hold a competition between their various senior centers. They were able to raise $1,300 for their local charities by working together.
We've also seen collections at places ranging from banks to dentist offices. Just because you don't work with youth doesn't mean you can't make a difference this season!
The "Assembly" CollectionIf you want to get lots of people involved, sometimes you need to think bigger. Both schools and places of worship generally have the facilities to gather lots of people at once, and you can use that to hold a large collection involving everyone. Shelter Island School - NHS of Shelter Island, New York, holds a school-wide assembly featuring skits and presentations. They told us, "An assembly is a great way to rouse interest and build a sense of team - especially for our younger grades."
The "Football Field" CollectionHow better to get your group excited about that time of year then using the football theme to your advantage! Groups love using the football field imagery to tie the collection back to the Big Game. Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mason, Iowa, used the football field to visualize their goals, marking football field yard lines down the center aisle of the church.
"We asked everyone to donate cans of soup and our goal was to line up the cans from the back door of the sanctuary up to the altar. Two hundred and fifty seven cans were lined up down the aisle from one end to the other. We achieved our goal!"
The "Excuse to Humiliate Our Youth Leaders" CollectionIf you want to motivate kids, then consider offering them a chance to have some fun with their youth leaders! The principal of Crestwood Elementary
almost found herself buried in cans when students got the opportunity to "can the principal" out of her office:
Meanwhile the Courthouse Community United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, gave their congregation the opportunity to slime the church leaders if they met a certain amount of donations!"Boys and girls came in daily to cover the carpet in my office. They were mostly successful, covering all but a narrow path to my desk. However, it became very uncomfortable to work with over 1,000 food items covering the floor. Students have promised to cover the entire carpet next year."