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Recycle Printer Cartridges & Cell Phones Fundraiser

Most folks wouldn't dream that recycling something they normally throw away could be a very lucrative fundraiser. You would be overlooking a great new low impact fundraiser if you ignore the potential untapped profit a printer cartridge and cell phone recycling fundraiser could be earning for your group.

How the Program Works

It's really quite simple: You organize a collection system that gathers empty printer cartridges and old cell phones from a large group of people and send them in to be recycled. Then you get paid.

  • The people donating aren't inconvenienced in any way. They don't have to contribute cash or buy a product. They just give you something they would normally throw away.
  • Your group doesn't have to sell anything or ask for cash donations. You just collect the donated items and send them in and wait for your check.

Is This a Good Fit for My Group?

Recycling programs like this must be set up as an ongoing program in order to raise the maximum amount of money for your group. Ask yourself the following before you commit to a program:

  • Can we collect enough cartridges and cell phone to make it worth while? If you are a school or church group then you have a sizable built in base to target. This fundraiser can work with a smaller group but it will take more time and effort to make it successful.
  • Do we have enough time and manpower to make it worth while? Along with distributing collection boxes and collecting the items an ongoing program of publicity is required. Promotion is the key to collecting large amount of recyclable items. Posters must be hung and reminders run in newsletters. Donated items must be collected, sorted and stored until packaging and shipment can be made. It's not a large amount of time but rather an ongoing commitment.

Take It to the Next Level

Once you have decided to take on this fundraiser your success will only be limited by your imagination and determination.

Along with collecting from the members of your group you can multiply your efforts by contacting local businesses and office buildings and asking them to sponsor your program. You can also advertise in your local paper to find sponsors.

Here is what you can ask them to do:

  • Donate empty printer cartridges and old cell phones.
  • Put signs and posters by every printer reminding everyone to recycle.
  • Include information about recycling and your program in their company emails and newsletters.
  • Be a drop off location for recyclable printer cartridges and cell phones for the public.
  • See if any of their contacts would be interested in donating printer cartridges and cell phones.
  • Display posters or fliers about the recycling fundraising program you are supporting.

It's important to support your sponsors to insure their success and yours:

  • Provide containers for printer cartridges (with plastic bag liners) and containers for cell phones.
  • Make sure you check and pick up recyclables in a timely fashion.
  • Provide signs and posters for them to place by every printer reminding everyone to recycle.
  • Provide materials, fliers and introductory letters for sponsors to give to their contacts.
  • Provide to your sponsors posters or fliers informing the public how they can help by recycling their empty printer cartridges and cell phones.

Make sure you are considerate of your sponsor's commitment.

  • Update your sponsors on the progress of your recycling fundraiser.
  • Send frequent thank you notes.
  • Recognize them by including a list of your sponsors in your newsletters or your website.
  • Include information about your sponsors' participation in any press releases or news stories.

Deane Brengle is a nonprofit professional who enjoys helping organizations become more successful. He writes for the Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter on a variety of subjects like recycle fundraisers and other fundraising ideas.

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