ONLINE GUIDE

INTRODUCTION

Thank you for your interest in holding a One Warm Coat Drive. With Coat Drive Ambassadors like you, we know we can provide warmth to our neighbors across the country. No one should go cold this winter!

You will determine:

  • When and where you will hold your drive
  • How you will promote your drive
  • Which non-profit social service agency you will work with

We will provide you with:

  • Instructions and free tools and resources
  • A Coat Drive Kit mailed to you that includes a banner, two giant labels to attach to your collection bins (bins not provided), stickers and more
  • A listing on our Coat Drive Locator

Follow the six easy steps below to make planning and holding your coat drive a breeze!

Online Guide: Step 1 Plan and Prepare

1 – STEP ONE

Plan Your Drive 

Choose your dates:

How long will you hold your drive?
A coat drive can last one day or three months and can be held anytime of year.

Will it be for a special reason,  occasion, a party or to celebrate a holiday?
Any reason is a good one!  Here are just some of the reasons our organizers have held a drive:

 

Birthday*
Spring Cleaning
Bar or Bat Mitzvah
Scout Activity
MLK Day of Service
Ugly Sweater Day
New Years
Confirmation
Block Party
Grand Opening

*Many ask for coats rather than gifts.

Anniversay
Christmas
Company Event
Service Project
Community Impact
Casual Friday
Book Club
In Memory of
Cause Marketing
In-Store Sale

Graduation
Back to School
Local Event
Corporate Challenge
Corporate Social Responsibility
Thanksgiving
Conference
Employee Engagement
Mother’s/Father’s Day

Chose your location:

If you choose to list your coat drive on our map, the public will be able to see it and will deliver coats to the location you specify.  Or, you can keep your drop of location private.  You will be asked when you register. Please note: Employee Engagement (internal company drives) are not listed on the public map.

Many organizers have coats dropped off at their homes, at their school or at their place of employment.  Some local businesses or local government offices may also allow you to set up a drop off location.   You’ll need to choose at least one location – don’t worry, you can add more locations later if you need to.

For Businesses

Business have the advantage of including all of their customers/consumers in their drive.   Everyone can participate by including one or all of the following:

An Incentive like a special discount or coupon. You may choose to create a flyer and stuff it in customer bags 2-3 weeks before your drive advertising your offer or Include information about the drive on your register receipts.

An “Ask at the Register” or Point of Sale Campaign  (cash collection for OWC) so all customers can participate.   We have a full set of instructions and pin-ups!

Online Store Participation: It’s easy to add a tax free item to your online store. Each $25 donation buys, ships and delivers a coat to a child in need.

Online Guide: Register

2 – STEP TWO

Register Your Drive 

When you are ready, you will register your coat drive with us and become an official Coat Drive Ambassador!   We will send a Coat Drive Kit out to you within one week and provide you with access to many more free tools and resources.   If you are ready now – register here.

What you will need to know when you are ready to register

1)     What type of drive are holding?

Youth – A Youth drive is organized by someone who is under the age of 21 and may be assisted by a parent or another adult.

Individual – An Individual drive is organized primarily by one person.  If you wish to promote your business as part of your drive, you will register as a Business Drive instead.

School – A School Drive is organized by teachers, school faculty or students from pre-school aged programs thru college campuses and is held at the school/on campus.

Informal Community Group – A Community Group drive is organized by an informal – non commercial – group; book club, neighborhood watch.

Employee Engagement – An Employee Engagement is a private drive is held by the employees of a company as an internal drive. The drive is not promoted to the public and is not included on our coat drive locator.

Social Service Nonprofit – A Social Service drive is held by a nonprofit organization that directly provides services and goods to people in need.   Nonprofits organized for other purposes should register as a Business drive.

Faith Based – A Faith Based drive is held by a registered church or congregation.   Informal church groups should register as an Informal Community Group

Business, Associations & Retail –  A Business Drive is held by a company or association who wishes to include their customers, clients and/or the public by inviting them to participate.  Business drives are generally held at a place of business or a store location.  Incentive programs may be included (coupon offers, discounts, giveaways) to increase foot traffic and participation.  A contribution of $50 is requested to register a Business drive.

Coast to Coast Coat Drive Challenge – A Coast to Coast Challenge coat drive is held by companies with more than one office or department, allowing a spirit of competition to increase the collection results. A Challenge drive is held much like an Employee Engagement Drive.

2) Group Name

This will be you official coat drive name.  It will be displayed on our coat drive map.  Businesses, churches  & schools generally use their official name.  Individuals and community groups often create a fun name for their project.

3)  Main Contact

You will need the mailing address, phone number, email address and name of the person responsible for the drive.  Your coat drive kit will be mailed to this address.  Please use an email address you regularly use; we will be providing important information and instructions by email.

4)  Start & End Date & Hours

Your online listing will include the dates of your coat drive along with the hours you will be available to collect the coats.

5) Coat Drive Description

You may include a short description of your drive to encourage people to participate.   If you are a Business you will want to include a description of any incentives you are offering for participation.

6) Collection Address

The collection address will be displayed on our map – this is where people will go to drop off their coats

Online Guide: Share & Promote

3 – STEP THREE

Promote Your Drive 

It’s easy to promote your drive and let your community know you are collecting coats using our Tools and Resources and your personal coat drive page.

1) You will receive a link to your personal coat drive page after you register.  This page allows you to promote the details of your drive and track coat and dollar donations in real time. Share this URL with your family, friends, co-workers, etc. to spread the word about your drive.

2) Like/Follow One Warm Coat on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

3) Visit our Social Media page to view sample social media posts to share with your online community.

 4) Print the curbside pick-up flyer to distribute throughout your neighborhood; it’s a great way to include your neighbors and increase the coats you collect.

5) Email your friends and family about your drive using our sample email template.

6) Use our brochure, posters and flyers to spread the word about your drive throughout your community.

7) Personalize and send a press release to your local papers and TV stations.

8) Share your Selfie! Take pictures of yourself and your family and friends with the coats you collect during your coat drive and tag One Warm Coat using* #igavewarmth #noonecold @onewarmcoat.

* Your profiles must be set to “public” for One Warm Coat to see your tagged photos.

4 – STEP FOUR

Start Your Drive 

Kick off your drive by announcing your coat-raising and fundraising goals! Dollars can be collected in your donation box, through your personal coat drive page or by visiting onewarmcoat.org/donate.

1) Track your coat-raising and fundraising goals with our thermometer, which will arrive in your coat drive kit. Make sure to hang your thermometer at your drive location!

2) You can thank all of your donors by providing them with tax receipts and a chance to win a prize from us! 

3) Once your drive is over, sort your coats to make sure they are in good/ready-to-wear shape. Count your coats and report them to us at any time through your personal coat drive page.

4) Count your dollar donations! If you have received cash donations, please write a check (or obtain a cashiers check) for the amount of the cash and return all checks to One Warm Coat in your donation envelope

 

Online Guide: Report & Celebrate

5 – STEP FIVE

Celebrate Your Drive 

Celebrate by sharing pictures, videos and stories from your drive with us. You can report your coat totals at any time on your personal coat drive page, be sure to tell us your final number! Remember the coat count tallies each time you report.  

 

You will tell us:

1) Celebrate by sharing pictures, videos and stories from your drive with us on social media*: @onewarmcoat #igavewarmth or by email: drives@onewarmcoat.org.

2) Use the Celebration Press Release to tell your community about the success of your drive!

3) You can report your coat totals at any time through your personal coat drive page.  It’s important for One Warm Coat to know how many coats YOU collected so we can count your total towards our goal of warming 1 million people each winter.

4) Submit any dollar donations you’ve received online or by mail (please don’t mail cash!).

 

* Your profiles must be set to public for One Warm Coat to see your tagged photos.

Online Guide: Deliver

FUNDRAISING 101

Raising money for One Warm Coat has never been easier!  Visit our Fundraising 101 page for tips on how to ask for (and make) donations during your coat drive or for those not holding a coat drive who still want to warm their neighbors in need.

6 – STEP SIX

Deliver Your Coats

You will collect coats from your family, friends and neighbor’s closets and the non-profit agency you select will get them to people in need. Please be sure that coats are clean and ready to be worn!

Once your drive is complete, use our Non-profit Agency locator to find an organization near you that has a need for warm coats.

If you would prefer to work with a non-profit agency you already know – that’s great! Please ask them to register on our website, so we can send more Ambassadors and coat to them.

The delivery stickers (included in your Coat Drive Kit) will help you identify and organize the coats you’re delivering.

Online Guide: Fundraise

FUNDRAISING 101

Raising money for One Warm Coat has never been easier!  Visit our Fundraising 101 page for tips on how to ask for (and make) donations during your coat drive or for those not holding a coat drive who still want to warm their neighbors in need.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is there a cost or fee to participate in One Warm Coat?

There are no costs required to organize a non-business/retail One Warm Coat drive. Registered drives may use our free Tools and Resources, available on the website. We supply a free Coat Drive Kit, which includes a large banner, two box labels and more to each Coat Drive Ambassador who registers their coat drive. If you would like to help us continue to provide these free tools and resources, please Donate Today.

I would like to organize a drive but don’t know how to get started.

We have made it easy for you by providing instructions from start to finish in Six Easy Steps. You will find answers to most of your questions by clicking on the links provided or reviewing our Online Guide.

Is it only coats?

Think of any outerwear that will keep someone warm — coats, sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts, or scarves. Also, if you have any hats or mittens, they would be appreciated also.

How do I use my personal coat drive page?

You can use your personal coat drive page to easily promote your coat drive and track your coat and dollar donations. You are able to update some parts of your personal page on your own. By clicking on the "Ambassador Self-Service" link under the donate button, or by clicking on the "update your personal page" link in your welcome email, you can update:

  • Event details; such as Start Date, End Date, Hours, and Description
  • The address of your coat drive
  • The contact information for your coat drive

You cannot change the name of your coat drive from your Self Service page. To update the Coat Drive name, please email drives@onewarmcoat.org. You can also report your coat totals from your personal page and request a report of all donations made to your coat drive.  You can access both options on your Ambassador Self-Service page, or through the welcome email you received when you registered.  If you did not receive an email with a link to your personal coat drive page when you registered, please email drives@onewarmcoat.org.

When will my Coat Drive Kit Arrive?

Your Coat Drive Kit will arrive 7-10 days after you register. It is shipped via USPS from the West Coast.

Is there a collection box you can send us?

One Warm Coat does not provide collection bins - we encourage our Ambassadors to be creative and reduce/reuse/recycle old boxes, clean garbage cans – a container of any kind will work! Putting a collection bin together is super easy – check out our How to Build A Collection Bin page.

How can I update/change my coat drive information? Can I extend my drive?

You can change the date of your coat drive on your personal coat drive page.

When you register your coat drive, you will receive a link to your own coat drive page where you can easily promote your drive and track coat and dollar donations. From this page you can also change (extend or shorten) the dates of your coat drive and update the location and contact information for your coat drive. Additionally, you can request a report of all donations made to your coat drive and report your coat totals at any time.

You can find a link to your personal coat drive page in the Welcome Email you received when you registered. If you need to change the name of your coat drive or organizing contact, please email us at drives@onewarmcoat.org. Be sure to include the organizing name, coat drive number and/or the email address used to register the coat drive and include all changes you would like made.

If you did not receive a Welcome Email with a link to your personal coat drive page when you registered, please email drives@onewarmcoat.org.

I need to find a nonprofit partner near my home or business.

Time for Step 6 - Deliver!  Use the Nonprofit Locator on our website to find nonprofit agencies in your area that have registered with One Warm Coat to receive coats. This is not a complete list of organizations that support those in need — it is just the beginning! If you cannot find a registered agency close by, you might want to perform a “Google search” for “homeless assistance + your town” or take a look in your telephone directory; churches and food banks often distribute coats to those in need. We have one rule for a One Warm Coat event — the coat must be GIVEN away and we request that the agency register on our site. Remember – you should always contact your selected agency BEFORE you deliver your coats to ensure they will be able to accept the coats.

I'm a Business/Retail Drive with 10+ Locations.

If you are a Business/Retailer with 10 or more locations and you are interested in holding a coat drive, please use the contact form below to send us an email and we'll get back to you shortly. Thanks for your interest!

One Warm Coat is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, EIN #74-3045243. Coat and dollar donations and contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law. 877-663-9276