Hell-Raiser's Blog: The Reject-Gift Drive - A Winning Fundraiser

Grandma, back when my Christmas gifts to her were
Woolworth's hankies that my mother would buy

"Oh my, this is lovely. Oh! I didn't expect this," says my 92-year-old grandmother in her quivery voice, as she unwraps the sweater I am giving her for Christmas. "Because usually you get me such crap," she explains.

All the sweaters I have given her were lovely, in my opinion. But sometimes one person’s lovely sweater is another person’s crap, which brings me to the topic of this post - the reject-gift drive.

Here’s how the reject-gift drive works: 

Nonprofits invite their supporters to donate unwanted gifts for use in upcoming raffles and/or fundraiser-auctions, where the gift-donations will find homes with people who appreciate their value.

Some of the reject gifts that have been donated to nonprofits with which I have worked: 
  • Complete box set of hardcover Harry Potter books
  • Crystal glassware
  • Day at a spa
  • Furniture

The reject-gift drive can be an easy way to raise money. One group I worked with, a small community center, made a last-minute decision to incorporate a small silent auction into their small annual open house (the next day), attended by 50 people, tops. They generated $1000 - and with almost no work*.

*Here's what they did: they put a tablecloth on a folding table, made a dozen bid sheets, and put their auction items out.