Collecting donations for needy children is a worthy cause, but organizing a collection can be tricky. For starters, you need to have a plan that details the need, the types of donations you will accept and who you will target for donations. After you're clear on the specifics, you can start working on advertising the project and collecting for it.
Determine for whom you are collecting donations. For example, you might collect donations for a specific needy family in your area. Or, you might want to find an established charity or organization that will accept donations for the distribution to needy children in your area. This might be a local shelter or branches of the Salvation Army, or a government agency such as the Department of Human Services. If this is the case, contact that charity or organization to determine if they have any specific needs or if they have specific guidelines for accepting donations.
Decide what types of donations you will accept. Having a wide focus -- collecting too many different things -- can make it complicated and difficult to set a goal for the donations. For example, you can choose to organize a toy drive or collect baby items or baby foods. You can also expand the project by accepting things like canned or dry foods, which will benefit older kids.
Set your goals and see if you need back up. For example, getting your local church, school or community center involved might make it easier to get donations because they can help spread the word and provide a sense of legitimacy to the project. You can also set up an informal group of parents or friends to help you collect donations.
Print flyers to distribute around the neighborhood. Make sure you specify what kinds of donations you're accepting and don't forget to mention that the collection is for needy children -- and to whom the donations are going. This will help people understand the goal and the limits -- what should they donate and what's not acceptable -- of the project. Also, list the places where individuals can drop off their donations. If you're conducting a collection through a school or through a specific group -- such as among a group of friends -- you can print a more informal letter to distribute.
Set collection boxes at predetermined points so people can drop off their donations. If you're collecting a number of things -- such as toys and baby items -- you can set up several boxes to help better organize the project. Make sure the flyer lists the donation locations.