STUDENT VICE PRESIDENT BOOK DRIVE TOOLKIT

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1 STUDENT VICE PRESIDENT BOOK DRIVE TOOLKIT

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION GETTING STARTED Team Member Capacity Desired Project Outcomes Beneficiary Groups Project Duration ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIPS With Beneficiary Groups With Donation Sites LOGISTICS Collection Receptacles Book Storage PROMOTING THE PROJECT Preparing for the Project Launch Maintaining Momentum FINAL STEPS PAGE 1

3 INTRODUCTION LITERACY IN YOUR COMMUNITY: HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED Thank you for your interest in hosting a book drive through your campus Phi Kappa Phi chapter! A book drive is both a simple and effective way to serve your local community, promote the ideals of your chapter, inspire your chapter members and the community-at-large, and let the love of learning rule humanity. Book drives provide a way to draw attention to the importance of literacy and gather crucial resources for community members who would otherwise have limited access to them. This project is also a great way to promote Phi Kappa Phi on your campus and to promote Phi Kappa Phi and your campus in the community. By helping to lead and by participating in this book drive with your chapter, you can help encourage a love of learning and enable access to opportunities that can last a lifetime! Studies show that in middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of age-appropriate books per child is 13 to 1. In contrast, in low-income neighborhoods the ratio is a staggering 1 book per 300 children 1. When you consider that, the following statistics are unfortunately not so surprising: 44% of America s 4th graders cannot read aloud fluently. 2 While the U.S. high school graduation rate is rising, only a little over half of high school graduates from the poorest quarter of families attend college. Moreover, the six-year college completion rate for low-income students is only around 25 percent. 3 Like all projects, success depends on some careful planning from the start. This Phi Kappa Phi Student Vice President Book Drive Toolkit contains detailed guidance to help support your success at every step of the way! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about planning a book drive, the Book Drive Toolkit, or Phi Kappa Phi, please contact Kay White via at 1 Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006, p data, as measured and defined by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading test. 3 PAGE 2

4 GETTING STARTED FIRST YOU AND YOUR TEAM NEED TO CONSIDER EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: 1. WHAT CAPACITY DO YOUR TEAM MEMBERS HAVE FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE HOSTING OF THE DRIVE? WHO HAS TIME AND WILLINGNESS TO: Contact and make arrangements with potential beneficiary organizations? Promote the drive with different groups at different locations? Collect the books? Your team s capacity for the project will determine the specifications you put on your drive (length of drive, types of collections accepted, etc.). How many volunteers do you need to recruit to help run this project? 2. WHAT ARE YOUR DESIRED OUTCOMES FOR THE PROJECT? Is your primary goal to be philanthropic and to promote literacy? Is your primary goal to contribute to a targeted community need such as building the critical foundation of literacy in pre-k children or adult literacy? How many groups do you plan to solicit for book donations? Approximately how many book donations might result? 3. WHAT KIND OF BENEFICIARY GROUP(S) DO YOU WANT TO SUPPORT? Check out the organizations already doing good work in your area. Many existing service groups have identified targeted community needs and have already built the expertise to provide solutions through programs that utilize books. Consider the following types of potential beneficiary: preschool programs for low-income children after-school programs for low-income children adult literacy programs a shelter a jail the local library peers who cannot afford college textbooks PAGE 3

5 GETTING STARTED Do you want to donate collected books primarily to one site or to multiple sites? a) It is crucial to decide at the start what kind of beneficiary group(s) you want to support, so that you can solicit the appropriate type of books for them. b) You will need to consider how many books you expect you might collect and ask the beneficiary group(s) how many books they have capacity to use. HELPFUL HINT If you are less specific about the type of book you are collecting, you are more likely to need to make arrangements with multiple community partners who can accept the different types of books collected, and you might need more volunteers to support the drive to help contact potential beneficiaries and to sort books by types collected. 4. FOR WHAT DURATION DO YOU WANT TO RUN YOUR BOOK DRIVE? You need to allow your intended community of donors sufficient time to see your promotional materials and either buy or collect books to donate. You also need to limit your drive a) to the period of time your donation site(s) will allow you to use the site and b) to the amount of time your volunteers can give for periodically picking up donated books (to maintain room for MORE donations at the donation sites). Note: Book drives typically last 2-4 weeks. Consider holding your book drive in conjunction with another annual national literacy event, such as the following: Read Across America Day March 2, 2016 (in honor of Dr. Seuss s birthday) Week of the Young Child,"Celebrating Our Youngest Learners" April 10-16, 2016 National Library Week, "Libraries Transform" April 10-16, 2016 Your Phi Kappa Phi book drive project could launch or conclude in conjunction with one of these events. PAGE 4

6 ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIPS ESTABLISHING NECESSARY RELATIONSHIPS To be as successful as possible, it is important to establish project relationships, as early as possible, with your desired beneficiary organization(s) and potential book donation site. WITH BENEFICIARY ORGANIZATION(S): Explain who you are and why you are calling (i.e., that you are hosting a book drive to benefit local organizations). Ask who is the best person to speak to about your book drive. Ask whether the organization would be interested in accepting donated books. Ask whether there are restrictions on the kinds of books accepted (gently used as well as new? books for certain age ranges? certain types of books?). Optional: You might ask the organization whether they have a book wish list or a list of recommended books if you want to make suggestions available to book donors. Ask who is the appropriate contact at the organization with whom you will work for the duration of your project, and share all your contact information. WITH DONATION SITES: Again, the capacity of your team of book drive volunteers will determine your decision-making about the number and the location(s) of the book donation site(s). You should also consider what locations are: a) Highly visible and attract attention for your project. b) Have adequate space to hold the book collection receptacle. c) Secure sites for your books to be held in between collections. Location is key! Consider sites both on campus and off campus, depending on your capacity and project goals, such as the following: on campus: library student union administration building off campus: local businesses local schools community centers religious centers gyms In addition, you might check on whether your local library or nearby new and used bookstores have any books they would like to donate for a good cause. You could also stop by garage sales with a flyer for your book drive to see if the seller would consider donating books to the drive. If possible, offer to pick up books as well. PAGE 5

7 LOGISTICS ORGANIZING YOUR DRIVE 1. COLLECTION RECEPTACLES You will need boxes, bins, barrels, large baskets, or other receptacles for the collection of books at your donation sites: Whatever you use should be large and strong enough to hold a large number of books so you don t have to empty it out too frequently. Books can be transferred into smaller boxes once a donation site book receptacle is full. Be sure you assign people to check the donation sites and collect books from them periodically to allow room for more donations! 2. BOOK STORAGE You will need a secure location, with adequate space, to store books as you collect them during the project period while you are waiting to deliver the books to your beneficiary organization(s). 3. SIGNAGE To help publicize your drive and collection receptacles, take advantage of the templates provided by Society Headquarters (pictured below). To download a template, visit If you would like additional assistance with the design and creation of publicity materials, contact Hannah Breaux, Communications Director, at PUBLICITY TEMPLATE #1 PUBLICITY TEMPLATE #2 COLLECTION RECEPTACLE TEMPLATE PAGE 6

8 PROMOTING THE PROJECT AS YOUR TEAM PREPARES FOR THE PROJECT LAUNCH: 1. CONSIDER WHAT MEDIA YOU WILL USE TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT YOUR PROJECT, SUCH AS THE FOLLOWING: Fliers and posters blasts Social networking Group newsletters or calendars Cold calling A press release Campus newsletters and newspaper, television or ads including Public Service Announcements 2. CONSIDER WHICH AUDIENCES TO TARGET WITH INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR PROJECT, SUCH AS THE FOLLOWING: on campus classes of students Greek and other campus organizations/clubs departmental faculty and faculty groups off campus libraries or book clubs (people who love books already like to share their love with others!) local schools religious centers local businesses scouting groups and other youth groups civic clubs or other service organizations men s and women s clubs sports programs / YMCAs Don t forget to encourage your donors to involve their friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors in the book drive! PAGE 7

9 PROMOTING THE PROJECT 3. MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IN YOUR PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL: Dates of the drive. Locations for book donation. What books to bring and in what condition. For example, new books only, or will gently used books be accepted too? What age range/type of book? If the organization selected as book beneficiary accepts gently used books, be sure you specify for the public what that means such as clean and without torn pages or writing. Purpose of the drive. Remember: people are more likely to be generous when they understand what you are trying to do and how their donation can make a difference. Note, for example, how the books will be used. Logo for the beneficiary organization(s), IF they are willing to let you use it. Mention of your Phi Kappa Phi chapter and/or the Phi Kappa Phi logo. Also: You need to have this information located near the book collection receptacles, too, as the receptacles will also help you attract attention for the project! HELPFUL HINT Often people donate books that are familiar from childhood but are not necessarily still considered appropriate or ideal. If beneficiary organization(s) make specific suggestions, think about ways to share those with donors. 4. CONSIDER WHETHER YOU WANT TO HOST A BOOK DRIVE KICK-OFF EVENT. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU MIGHT HOST A PARTY: Ask each attendee to bring a book, arrange for a speaker from the beneficiary organization to speak about how the donated books will make a positive difference in the community, and invite local media to promote your chapter, your campus, and your beneficiary organization. PAGE 8

10 PROMOTING THE PROJECT POST-LAUNCH: MAINTAINING MOMENTUM 1. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE! Remember to keep promoting the project with new social media posts (encouraged on both your chapter and personal social media accounts), repeat announcements to groups, calls, etc. While just about everyone may believe in the cause or want to contribute, people are busy and have many things on their minds. People often need frequent reminders and encouragement to bring in books. 2. GET CREATIVE! Encourage groups you are targeting for donations to have fun with the project: They might set their own collection goals or hold a contest to stir up additional excitement and spur more donations. Consider keeping a graph or a progress thermometer at collection sites of how many books have been collected to generate excitement and keep the number going up. HELPFUL HINT Contests and progress thermometers can be especially effective at a school site or a business which wants either to set a total goal of books to be raised or to have classes/departments compete to gather more books. 3. TRACK PROJECT SUCCESS! Set times for your team to report on project progress at a meeting, by , or by phone at least weekly. Track information such as: # individuals/groups asked to participate and donate # operating book drive collection sites # books collected per site PAGE 9

11 FINAL STEPS WRAPPING UP YOUR BOOK DRIVE 1. SORT: Sort though the donated books to ensure that they meet the guidelines (age range, condition, content) of the beneficiary organization(s). If you are giving books to multiple beneficiary organizations, sort which books are going to which group. Count the books as you go. Pack books in sturdy, manageable containers. Note: It can be fun to organize a sorting party. 2. THANK: Put a sign or notice at collection site(s) noting the project s success and thanking participants for their part in that success! Note: If you have a record of the names, groups, and/or organizations that participated, you may want to thank them specifically as a way to recognize their contribution. 3. DELIVER: Once all of your hard work is done, coordinate with your beneficiary organization to arrange a time to deliver your books to them. 4. REPORT: Fill in and return the Phi Kappa Phi Book Drive Completion Form and any photographs of the books and/or delivery of the books to the beneficiary organization to Phi Kappa Phi National Headquarters. Consider submitting a press release to campus and local community media, as well as using the same media you used to promote the drive, to report on your chapter s book drive success and to thank further all of those who participated. As you conclude your book drive, remember to celebrate! Your hard work is going to help your community! In addition, the chapters that collect the most books will receive a "Little Free Library" like the ones pictured below to place at a location of their choice. The chapters that win this prize will also receive $150 to cover the design cost for personalizing their library. To learn more about Little Free Library, visit PAGE 10

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