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Chances are you have participated in a bottle drive at some point in your life. If you played sports as a kid, you surely remember going door to door asking strangers for their empty cans and bottles in order to fund your travel, participation fees, and jerseys. Parents with children who play sports have likely taken part in Saturday morning bottle drives. It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are, or what sport you play: bottle drives are awful.

However, the fundraising has to be done. Bottle drives may be awful but that doesn’t change the fact the team needs to buy bus tickets. So, what’s the solution? Why not sell gift cards?

Think about what makes bottle drives the bane of every parent’s existence… First, you need a vehicle big enough to transport your haul. For those that don’t own a pickup truck, this means renting a vehicle. You have already spent some of your bottle drive earnings before you have picked up one can! Once the bottle drive is underway, you have to deal with stranger’s recycling. This leaves you and your vehicle with a sticky layer of stale soda and beer.

Finally, the problem with bottle drives is that every youth sports team in history has done one. Your child’s team isn’t the first team to do a bottle drive, they won’t be the last, and they may not even be the only team doing a bottle drive on the same weekend. This could mean more competition and fewer bottles collected at the end of the day.

Gift Cards vs. Bottle Drives

So how do gift cards change the age old tradition of the youth sports team bottle drive? It’s simple!

  1. Collect gift cards
  2. Sell gift cards

Okay, maybe there needs to be a little more explanation than that. Let’s take a closer look at the details and see why a gift card drive puts a traditional bottle drive to shame.

The whole reason the bottle drive has been tried, tested, and true for so long is because almost every person who drinks soda, alcohol, bottled water, and any other variety of packaged beverage has empty cans and bottles lying around their home. A great percentage of those people can’t be bothered to take those leaking, sticky bags of recycling to the recycling depot to collect their refund. This means they’re very likely to simply hand over their cans and bottles to a nice, smiling young athlete on their doorstep and save themselves a trip to the bottle depot.

Gift cards are very similar to those forgotten bags of cans and bottles. There is an estimated $45 billion worth of forgotten, unused gift cards in America. These gift cards are still valuable; they just need to be put in the right pair of hands! There are likely just as many homes in a given neighborhood with forgotten gift cards sitting in their kitchen drawer as homes with unwanted bags of recycling. Instead of dragging around stinky, sticky cans and bottles – simplify things and sell gift cards!

Why a Gift Card Drive Could Mean More $$$$

Gift Card Drives

The local competition for this type of youth fundraising is almost non-existent. Instead of going door to door and being turned down because another team got their earlier; kids can try a new, outside-the-box style of fundraising. This could help increase the chances of success.

The logistics of collecting gift cards is also much less complicated. Parents don’t need to ensure they have a large vehicle for hauling bags of recycling. Gift card fundraising can be done in any vehicle, on foot, on a bike, on a scooter… You get the idea. This could also help to reduce the cost of fundraising. There’s no need to rent a truck or a cube van for a gift card drive. After all, the money raised should go right to the team; not a rental company!

Also, the value of an unused gift card may greatly exceed the value of empty cans and bottles. For example, an unused $50 gift card is worth far more than a couple bags of recycling that may only amount to $10 after the sorting and counting has been done. They say to work smarter, not harder. Collecting gift cards is exactly that.

Another nice benefit is the wide range of gift cards that are accepted when you sell gift cards. EJ Gift Cards buys hundreds of different gift cards meaning that whatever people have in their drawers and wallets could be valuable cash for a youth sports fundraiser. It doesn’t matter if the gift card is for electronics retailers, clothing stores, ecommerce stores, department stores, restaurants, or something else – chances are it could help earn money for the fundraiser!

Best of all, the effort required to turn gift cards into cash is very little. With a bottle drive you have to deliver the bottles to a recycling depot and then sit around while the staff sorts and counts your fundraising collection. This leaves room for error as they count thousands of containers as fast as they can. Every missed container is missed money for the fundraiser. With gift cards, once the drive is done, everyone goes home! The designated person chosen to sell gift cards can log onto their computer, quickly enter the cards they collected, and get paid out in cash via PayPal! No waiting in a smelly recycling depot. No lost money because someone lost count around the 700th soda can. Just cash in hand and ready to spend on deserving young athletes from a simple gift card drive.

Take Your Gift Card Drive to the Next Level

For the savvy gift card drive planner, there are a few tips and strategies to put into play in order to increase the total value of gift cards collected:

  • Choose the time of year wisely. Experts say that people often save their gift cards for holiday shopping or spend them right after receiving them. The sweet spot for collecting unused gift cards is somewhere in the middle. Going to collect in January may not be a great time of year as many people are still attached to the gift they may have received only a month earlier. Along that same line of thinking; it may not be wise to do a gift card drive in November or December, either.

    People may suddenly remember their unused card and decide that they would like to use it to help pay for presents for their loved ones. A summertime gift card drive would be best. People have forgotten to use their gift cards and the holiday season is usually not on top-of-mind for most people. During the summer, they could be more willing to part with their gift cards.
  • Be ready to explain why you are collecting gift cards and how they will be used. The gift card drive fundraiser is not yet a common thing like the age old bottle drive. People may be wary, confused, or just inquisitive about why someone would want to collect their unused gift cards. Be honest and upfront about what will be done with the gift cards. Explain you are going to sell gift cards to an online gift card buyer in exchange for money to benefit the fundraiser. If there are specific details about how the money will be used then feel free to offer up that information.

    Get people excited and use their imagination to your benefit. Instead of just saying the team is going to travel to a tournament, tell them where the tournament is, how many teams are participating, and when it is. Once people understand who their gift card is helping and what it will be used for, they may be more willing to donate. Of course, dressing professionally and speaking politely is also important.
  • Offer to trade. Because EJ Gift Cards buys such a wide variety of gift cards, anything is useful! For those that may be hesitant to part with a high value gift card, you could offer a lower value card to a store or retailer they frequent more often that was earned earlier in the drive to help encourage their donation. For example, if someone has a $100 gift card to a restaurant they don’t often visit, they may be more willing to part with it if they can get $25 to their favorite store. They now have a gift card of more use to them and you have just increased the fundraising by $75. It’s a win/win for everyone!
  • Do some marketing. It’s not uncommon for people doing bottles drives to put up or hand out flyers before their collection day. This could also be a great way to increase gift card collection. Many people may have completely forgotten about an unused gift card in their kitchen drawer. If they have a flyer in hand a day before the gift card drive, it may be enough to jog their memory.

    Also, this simple marketing work beforehand could reduce the amount of time spent at each home. If the homeowner is aware that some local athletes will be coming by to collect gift cards, they can prepare and have the gift card ready to go instead of frantically rummaging through their house as the athletes wait at the front door. Less time at each house means more houses visited during the gift card drive which ultimately means more money for the fundraiser. It would also be a good idea to post on local Facebook groups, Craigslist, and other online platforms. The more people that know, the more gift cards can be collected.
  • Set up a collection station. Working smarter, not harder is the whole goal of this, right? Instead of going door to door, try setting up a gift card collection station and get the gift cards to come to you. The local mall would be a great place to ask about partnering for your gift card drive. Malls have a lot of foot traffic and many of those people walking around will have unused gift cards in their wallets and purses.

    On a smaller scale, parents of young athletes could set up a donation bin in their office or workplace. If each parent set up a donation bin at work and got several gift cards that could equal hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fundraising with very minimal work put in. Sounds better than hauling around sticky bags of recycling, right?

Bottle Drives, Step Aside!

The gift card drive is a modern way to fundraise for youth sports teams. With the ease of collecting and selling gift cards it’s only a matter of time before the bottle drive becomes a thing of the past. With an estimated $45 billion in unused gift cards just waiting to be picked up; the best fundraising strategy is clear.

Start Your Gift Card Drive Today

Fundraising has never been so easy! Using the tips and tricks above, you can plan your own gift card drive and forget about the sticky, stinky, back-breaking mess of a bottle drive!

Best of all, when you sell gift cards to EJ Gift Cards you get money back – paid safely and securely to your PayPal account. We buy hundreds of gift cards from retailers, department stores, ecommerce stores, restaurants, and more! If you have a gift card, chances are someone wants to use the value on it! EJ Gift Cards buys unused or unwanted gift cards for cash so they can be used by people who are ready to shop!

It doesn’t matter if you’re going to do a gift card drive for a football team, hockey team, ballet class, running club, or something else – EJ Gift Cards makes fundraising easy!

What are you waiting for? Search your own home, put up some flyers, hit the streets, and spread the word! Collect all of those gift cards just sitting around and collecting dust then turn them into cash!

Want to learn more? Visit EJ Gift Cards now and sell gift cards for cash – fast!