So, you’re considering or have decided to start an Athletic Shoe Drive after researching all the best fundraising ideas you could. Maybe the Athletic Shoe Drive is the only one available in your area. Perhaps you just don’t want to deal with the higher minimum and lower payout of a Mixed Shoe Drive. Possibly you just want to raise more money with a lower minimum. It’s also likely that you’re one of the lucky ones who’s immersed in an athletic community. Regardless of your reasoning for choosing this fundraising option, you want to get as many shoes as you possibly can. At the very least, you want to meet the minimum number of shoes required for them to be picked up. Consequently, this leaves you asking a very critical question…

“Where will I find all these athletic shoes!?”

As the lead fundraising coordinator for Angel Bins daily, I see the strategies that work best to achieve a successful fundraiser. The shoes are out there waiting for you.  You just need to know where they are.


Local fire department - Fundraising Ideas

1. Your Local Fire Department


If there’s anyone in society who’s always willing to lend a helping hand, it’s everyone’s hero: the firefighter! It’s very safe to assume that firefighters pay close attention to their physical fitness routinely. As a result, they go through their fair share of athletic shoes. A lot of fire departments tend to have their softball or basketball teams as well. If you walk into your local fire station and explain your cause, certainly they’ll be happy to help! Bring a large, nicely decorated, clearly labeled box to place in their lobby for athletic shoe drive donations.  Your city or town has multiple fire stations, why not reach out to all of them? You’ll only increase the size of your shoe collection as a result.



Local gyms - Fundrasing ideas

2. Local Gyms


One time a gym called I received a phone call from a gym that had 400 pairs of long unclaimed shoes in their lost and found. Because they were so far along, I immediately set them up with an athletic shoe drive. They collected an additional 500 pairs and far surpassed, the minimum. They went on to donate the $1,350 they had earned to a local homeless shelter.

What does this show you?

Think of all the other lost and founds at all the other gyms out there. Also, think about all the daily repeat visitors gyms have. If you want to tap into a vein of gently used athletic shoes that few others know about, pay close attention. Take a nicely decorated and clearly labeled box with you and ask the gym manager if they’ll allow it by the entrance. You can also ask if they have any long unclaimed shoes in their lost and found. They’ll most likely be happy to help you and your cause. The worst that’ll happen is they say “no”, so you can move on to the next gym.



Shoe stores - Fundraisig ideas

3. Shoe Stores and Sporting Goods Stores


Shoe stores and sporting good stores are a great place to partner with! Again, it’s as simple as going to your local shops like Dick’s Sporting Goods, WSS, or even that mom-and-pop shoe store, and talking to the manager. Their customers are regularly trying on and buying new shoes and wearing them out of the store and consequently leaving their old shoes behind. What happens to them? Most of those shoes end up in the trash! Giving customers an option to recycle the shoes will benefit both you and the store. Because there’s an option to recycle their old shoes, customers will be impressed. As a result, the store will build a good rapport with the community. Be sure to sell the manager on that, if they’re on the fence! Above all, many fundraisers regularly use this strategy and far exceed their minimums as a result.



Hospitals - Fundraising ideas

4. Hospitals, Clinics, and Doctor’s Offices


Health care professionals may have chosen their careers for a variety of reasons. Regardless, their desire to help people is a reason that they all have in common. Similarly, by raising funds for a cause through Angel Bins, you’re demonstrating that same desire. In addition, doctors and nurses are working abnormally long hours, resulting in stress. To manage their stress, they tend to maintain a workout routine. What do work out routines require? You guessed it, athletic shoes! Their desire to help others and likeliness to own work-out shoes is winning combo for you!

Like the other best fundraising ideas, be sure to bring a clearly labeled box with flyers and explanations of your cause in their reception area. In addition, Give check in every so often, get to know the staff. Because everyone working there will see the box every day, they will likely bring in a pair or two, especially if they remember you.


In conclusion, even though the shoe drive’s minimum may at first seem daunting, hundreds of them are completed every month. Evidently, thinking outside the box, working closely with your community will ensure a successful fundraiser! Also, never be afraid to contact your Angel Bins fundraising coordinator! We’re happy to help you raise the funds you need for your cause.