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How to raise funds from recycling

Raising funds through recycling is a simple way to gain unrestricted income for your organisation. Choose the recycling schemes you think will work best for you and then encourage your supporters to use them. They’ll feel good about helping the environment while generating funds for your cause without it costing them anything. 

1

Ink cartridges and mobile phones

There are a number of companies who generate charitable donations by recycling mobile phones and empty ink cartridges. Most schemes are simple and free to join. Once you have signed up, most schemes will give you tips and tools to help you encourage donations.

On average you can expect upwards of £1 per original branded inkjet cartridge.  The size of mobile phone donations vary depending on the model and quality of the handset and what the company does with it.

Organisations who are doing this: Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

2

Gadgets

Many people have redundant gadgets lying around but don’t know what to do with them. Why not give your supporters a way to recycle them? Schemes cover PCs, laptops, games consoles, ipads and other tablets, video cameras and mp3 players. The range of gadgets accepted and prices paid varies under each scheme.

Organisations who are doing this: Telford and Wrekin CVS.

3

Cars

If you are a registered charity, your supporters could raise funds for you by recycling their car.  This concept was first established in 2010 by a London-based student who created Giveacar as the UK’s first charity car donation service. It is an award-winning social enterprise which donates 75% of proceeds to registered charities. Funds are raised by selling the cars at auction or for scrap. Giveacar provides free marketing support for small organisations and has an online charity resource section. To join, complete Giveacar’s simple online registration form.

Two other car donation schemes are The Car Donation Network and Charity Car.

Organisations who are doing this: The Mare and Foal Sanctuary raised over £1,000 by including an article about Giveacar in their newsletter.

4

Jewellery, stamps and coins

Ask your supporters to save UK and foreign stamps and dig out their old holiday money and broken / unwanted jewellery. These items can generate useful funds for your organisation. Companies who run these schemes include:

Organisations who are doing this: RNIB’s stamp recycling scheme.

5

Clothes

Why not ask your supporters to have a big clear out and raise funds for you in the process? There are a number of clothes recycling organisations to choose from. The schemes generally turn the clothes into rags or send them overseas. You should encourage supporters to send higher value items to charity shops or sell them for you using eBay for Charity.

Donations using clothes recycling schemes are paid per kg or tonne of clothing collected. The companies provide different collection options such as home collection bags, indoor card collection boxes and outside metal collection bins.

The Textile Recycling Association has a useful online guide covering the law and good practise for door to door charity bag collections. 

Organisations who are doing this: Make a Wish Foundation UK say that since 2007 donated clothes “have helped to fund over 200 wishes”. Midlands Air Ambulance Charity are running a campaign to place 100 recycling bins.

Further information

Further reading

This how-to is based on a blog post written by fundraising consultant Gemma Kingsman for Tennyson Insurance now Zurich Insurance

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Page last edited Jul 25, 2017 History

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