pexels-photo-802221When we think of fundraising campaigns, we tend to think of ways that we can encourage individuals and businesses to make cash donations to our cause, but there are other assets besides cash that supporters can give to help advance your work. For instance, did you know that many nonprofits can fund their work via recycling old, outdated and broken items or even actual waste? Hosting a recycling drive is not only lucrative for your nonprofit, but it also has the bonus of helping individuals and organisations lower their carbon footprint while helping to clean up the environment!

The following list offers a few ideas of how NFPs can use a recycling campaign to boost fundraising results.

Ask Your Supporters to Give Up Their Trash

There are a few ways that your nonprofit can use recycling to their best advantage. One is to partner with companies that offer cash for your trash. This works really well if your activities generate a lot of waste. Nearly anything can be recycled, including items as diverse as old cell phones, batteries, coffee cups, cardboard, paper and other packing materials to used motor oil, old paint cans, used makeup containers, cigarette butts and more! TerraCycle is just one of the many companies that are helping nonprofits, businesses and households all over the world turn their trash into cash. Not only can your NFP sign up for their free recycling program, but, nonprofits can also encourage their supporters to turn over their trash, and this particular company will send the payment to a charity of the donor’s choice. So, why not ask your stakeholders to sign up and have their funds directed to your NFP?

While TerraCycle will accept nearly any waste item, other companies specialise in specific types of waste. For example, you can do a simple online search to find companies in your area that will accept items such as used cooking oil, tennis balls and corks in exchange for cash. Once you’ve found a company that will take this type of waste, why not partner with area companies to send their used cooking oil or other waste and ask that the proceeds be donated to your nonprofit?

Donate a Car or Other Vehicle

There are a few ways that nonprofits can benefit when supporters give them their used cars and other vehicles. Your NFP could arrange to accept used cars that are still operational and then transport them to auction and use the proceeds to advance the mission. Even non-working vehicles that are no longer drivable can benefit your organisation, as they can be sold to dealers in scrap metals.

You could also partner with a company to come pick up the vehicles and either transport them to auction or offer you cash on the spot. One such company that offers this service is Rapid Car Removal, but there are many others located throughout Australia.

Instead of turning a car donation into cash, you could accept donated vehicles to give to your service recipients if it would help advance your core mission. For example, if your nonprofit hosts programs or services where participants could benefit from receiving a car at no cost, you could partner with a local trade school to donate services to repair the car and then give it to a participant to assist them in their job search so that they can secure their future.

Put Unused Gift Cards to a Good Use

Did you know that sites such as eBay allow you to list your unused gift cards for sale on their platform? Why not ask your supporters to give your NFP their unwanted cards, and auction them online?

Gift cards aren’t the only things that you can sell in an online auction to gain funds for your nonprofit. There is a market for nearly everything, even human hair! Host a “hair-raising” fundraiser where donors cut off and donate 6 to 12 inches, or more, of their hair and sell it through an online hair broker. is just one of the many sites that allow users from anywhere in the world to list their hair for sale!