How To: Organize an Instrument Collection Drive for a Music Program in Your Area

  1. Get the Go Ahead. You don’t want to get on your principal’s bad side so first get his or her permission.
  2. Get Your Teachers on Board. Have the teachers promise to do something crazy if you reach a certain goal, like promise to wear a ridiculous t-shirt to work or shave their head and watch the donations pile up. The hope of punishing a teacher has a certain way of inspiring people.
  3. Get Your Friends on Board. You don’t want to do this alone so recruit anyone and everyone to help you out.
  4. Spread the Word. You need to market your drive! Make posters and flyers ahead of time giving people the details.
  5. Get Attention. Use some creativity to decorate the collection boxes/barrels. You can even put the info on t-shirts, pants, whatever! The more people know about it, the more donations you’ll get.
  6. Use Your Lungs. Ask if you can make an announcement over the PA system, during morning announcements or homeroom. Or use your big mouth during lunch or in between periods and shout out the cause.
  7. Make it Easy. People are more likely to help if they don’t have to do much work, so offer to pick up the donations at their house or set up a collection bin in the front of your school or in the lunchroom. As a matter of fact, DO BOTH!
  8. Show Off the Goods. Display the donations you’ve gotten to get other teens into the mix. You may event want to set a goal and give a daily update on how close you are to achieving your goal. Create huge poster board that you can display in a prominent place. Update the sign everyday with the number collected.
  9. Close it Down. Officially end the drive by posting the number and types of instruments you collected in the main lobby or lunchroom and give special thanks to everyone who chipped in.
  10. Now What? Donate the instruments to a disadvantaged school or music program in your area. You probably want to make sure they'll accept these donations beforehand. And while you're at it, search around for some instrument refurbishing shops that will donate their services for a good cause. After all, what's the use in donating damaged instruments?
  11. Need Some Drive Ideas? Can’t think of anything unique to raise donations for your cause? Check out our list of 11 Ideas for a Collection Drive.

Don’t Forget to Report Back. Let Do Something know about all the awesome things you did so we can feature you on our website!! Post a project at to inspire other teens to get involved.