To all of CPF’s amazing volunteers who are very busy with their lives but still find time to ensure Canada’s youth have access to French, here is an easy volunteer assignment that can be organized in any community. Often schools do not receive a large enough budget to keep their libraries stocked with much needed French literature. A book drive is an easy way to ensure all the children at your local school have equal access to French reading material.
Step One: Identify your organizers.
- Try to keep this very simple. There should really be only two main organizers to share the burden. With fewer organizers there is less likely a chance for the breakdown in communication.
Step Two: Contact your school principal and librarians to ask for support and participation.
Its best to focus only on one school per drive, too many schools leads to confusing marketing. However, if you have an elementary school and high school close to one another you could target both schools which will allow donors to donate all books and
- Talking to administrators at the school is extremely important. You will want to find out from the school:
- When is the best time of year to hold the drive. Planning with administrators means school staff will be on hand to assist the process. Also yout want to make sure the needs of the school are clearly communicated
The school’s librarian will need to be involved, not only will this person know what kind of books the school needs but they should also be able to create a list of how to categorize incoming donations. The librarian will be able to provide guidance as to how to identify reading level or Consider organizing a time slot for volunteers after the books have been collect. With volunteers following the librarians’ system books will be labeled and ready to shelve.
Step Three: Promote the Drive
Using the Concentric Circle Recruitment model think of parents or volunteers who are graphic designers or just a whiz on the computer.
Publicize! Put an announcement on your group’s social media site, newsletter or calendar. Be sure to let your Branch and CPF National know so we can help boost your posts.
Step Four: Setting up the Book Drive and Recruiting volunteers to help.
Be sure to set up time slots and have people sign up online or contact your via email if they would like to help out.
Depending on the number of volunteers you get, think of how many donations drop off points you want. Primarily, you will have a donation drop box available at all times at the school. Additionally, you may want to have one at your local book store or grocery store somewhere your target audience frequents. Do not forget to get permission from business owners to set up a donation site.
Step Five: Run the Drive
- Collect the materials. Boxes or bins for book collection should be placed where they will be most visible, such as in entryways or lobbies, or, as an alternative, in offices or classrooms. Boxes or bins should be strong enough to hold large numbers of books. Plastic storage bins (18-gallon) work well.
- Tax Donation forms: Charitable Donation Forms can be found here. Give one to the donor so they can claim their donation for a tax deduction.
Step Six: Celebrate Your Success and Thank Your Volunteers
Once the books have been collected and donated to the school library take a moment to celebrate your success. Share important facts about the donation drive: how many books were donated, how many volunteers helped,
Then it’s time to thank your volunteers, this can be done as inexpensively as an email. Thank each person for their time and effort. Ask them for their feedback on the event. Give them a little inside info on how well the drive did. If you can get a quote from the school librarian or a student as to how the book drive helped, then volunteers will feel more satisfied and more likely to help your cause again.
Feel ready to take this project on?
Do you have a successful French book drive story you would like to share? Please feel free to comment below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.