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How To Run A Cell Phone Collection Drive For Your Charity or Non-Profit

November 19th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Conducting a cell phone collection drive for charity or non-profit organization is easy and can be an important source of funds for your organization.

cell phone collection drive

Every charity organization or non-profit seems to be doing cell phone or computer collection drives these days. Is it still worthwhile for your organization to collect old cell phones to help raise funds?

The answer, of course, is an unqualified yes.

Over one hundred million cell phones are discarded every year in the US – just about 30% of these used phones are recycled or sent back to the manufacturers. The remaining 70% or so are reported as lost, given to friends, thrown in trash bins, or hidden in drawers. There’s a huge supply of old cell phones out there and mobile phone trading companies, like Pacebutler Corporation of Edmond, Oklahoma, are still paying top dollar (as much as $75 per piece) for those old phones.

Door to door collection

Along with placing drop boxes and pasting notices in strategic public places, door-to-door collection is the traditional way of running cell phone collection drives. The advantage of this method is that you get to build relationships with the members of your community through person-to-person interaction and help spread your message (if that is a goal) while doing your used phone collection activities. Your results (total number of used cellular phones collected) using this method will be limited by the size of your community or the available personnel doing the legwork.

Working with students and social groups

Working with student groups or social clubs in your city or community will yield better results than the door-to-door method described above. Here, you are leveraging the reach and network of a larger group to help you collect used cell phones for your fund raising – more than what you can normally achieve going about it on your own.

Arrange to speak before the student body or the PTA in your local school and do a compelling presentation about your activities and advocacy and how these are helping people better their lives. Don’t forget the call to action at the end of your presentation, telling them about your planned cellular phone collection drive and how their association or student body can help you.

The underlying message is that they’re not merely assisting you collect old mobile phones but helping you feed the children, save rainforests, protect coral reefs, or whatever it is that your charity or non-profit does.

Watch: Cell phone collection drive by students from the University of California – Berkeley

Working with a cell phone recycling or trading company

Since they will be paying for the shipping costs, you should contact the cell phone recycler or trader beforehand, preferably before you start your collection program. This the stage where you can negotiate special pricing with them, which isn’t hard to obtain if you tell them of the large number of phones you expect to collect and sell to them on a regular basis. You can also ask for help with the flyers, collection boxes, and posters – they will only be too happy providing you these support materials since you’re doing business with them.

Sending your collected phones to the trading or recycling company

Mobile phone trading companies, like Pacebutler Corporation, have online price lists for you to check before sending the phones in bulk to them. If you have the time, I also suggest you find out the actual price of the cell phones that you have and come up with a rough estimate of the total worth of your collected used phones, to temper expectations and prevent any conflict in the future. While some models may fetch a buying price as high as $75 per piece, many old ones out there are priced to just around a dollar or lower per piece. Traders will not pay for non-working phones or those that are too old to be of any use.

Done right and done regularly, cell phone collection drives can be an important source of funds for you. Millions of cell phone are thrown away and wasted every year, collecting just a fraction of these can make a significant difference in the finances of any non-profit or charity.

Find out how Pacebutler can help you with your cell phone collection drive fundraiser.

Photo Credit: Minuteman Senior Services

Author: Michael Arms
Originally Published in: ArticleSnatch

Tags: Cell Phone Recycling

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Pete // Nov 20, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Great read. I live here in Austin and recently a company, http://www.sellphoneforcash.com did a great fundraising event with Goodwill where they not only had cell phone collection boxes at all Goodwill retail locations but also partnered up with a conference. Its amazing how people will come together for a great cause. Everyone has a cell phone, why not do the right thing with it and find a good use or place for it after you are done with it. Whatever you do, don’t throw it away.