Creative Donation Jar Ideas to Encourage Giving

Published October 21, 2020
Child holding a charity donation jar

Everyone is used to seeing donation jars by cash registers and in other locations, but these creative donation jar ideas and wording examples will help your jar stand out and get the attention it deserves. The right donation jar approach will give you more donations, so it's important to put some thought into the design.

How to Make Donation Jars

It's easy to make a basic donation jar. Create this simple design and then customize it with one of the creative ideas below.

Things You'll Need

Gather the following tools and supplies:

  • Large canning jar
  • Jar ring to fit
  • Colorful posterboard
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

What to Do

  1. Start by placing the jar ring on a piece of posterboard. Trace around the ring with a pencil to create a circle.
  2. Cut the circle out, cutting just inside the line you traced.
  3. Place the posterboard circle inside the jar ring. If it doesn't fit, trim it slightly with the scissors.
  4. Remove the circle from the jar ring and mark a line in the center. This will be the slit people will use to push coins or money into the jar. Use a craft knife to cut the slit. Make it wide enough that a folded dollar bill will fit through it.
  5. Assemble the jar by putting the cardstock circle into the jar ring and screwing the ring on the jar. Now you're ready to customize the donation jar with some fun ideas.

Six Donation Jar Ideas That Get Noticed

You can customize a donation jar by putting a piece of paper or cardstock printed with your image or message inside the jar. Place the paper so the colors and messages face out through the glass. Here are six great donation jar ideas to help.

donation jar

Pet Picture

To create a donation jar for pets or animal charities like rescue dog organizations, use a funny picture of a pet on the jar. Simply take a photo of your pet or print a photo from the internet. Add wording appropriate for your cause, such as the following:

  • "Please 'paws' and help our animal shelter!"
  • "Local cats need your help right meow!"
  • "Can you lend a paw?"

Color Match

If your organization has certain colors associated with it, you can use these to increase awareness of your donation jar. For instance, if you are gathering donations for a school event, use the school colors. Similarly, use a pink jar for a breast cancer donation. If you're collecting donations for a local charity with a purple logo, use the same shade of purple on your jar. Then use a simple donation jar message about the organization.

Specific Amount and What It Buys

If you ask for a specific amount for your cause, it can be more effective than simply asking for general donations. Tell the donor exactly what their specific donation buys and be clear about where it will be used. Try wording like the following:

  • "Can you spare $1? It buys two meals for hungry pets."
  • "Please give $5 if you can. It will feed a hungry family tonight."
  • "Your 50-cent donation buys three pencils for a child who needs school supplies."

Help a Friend

Feeling like they know the recipient can make a big difference in how much people are willing to give. If you're collecting donations for someone in need in your community, include some background information about why that person needs help. In addition to the background info, include a tag line like the following:

  • "Help a friend in our community."
  • "A member of our community needs your help."
  • "[Town name] takes care of its own. Please donate what you can spare."

Embrace the Holidays

Holidays often put people in a mood to give, and you can encourage this by decorating your donation jar with a holiday theme. Use red and green ribbons or tinsel around Christmas time, black and orange for Halloween, and red and pink for Valentine's Day. Then add a holiday-specific donation message, like the following:

  • "Make this Christmas special for kids in need."
  • "Trick or treat, our team can't be beat! Support us at the October meet!"
  • "Show a little love to homeless pets this Valentine's Day."

Use Your Event's Theme

If you're collecting donations for a BBQ cookoff, community picnic, fireworks, or other themed event, you can use this theme to decorate your donation jar. By sharing the theme, you connect the donation to its cause. People will be more likely to drop change into a donation jar printed with fireworks than into one that just asks for a fireworks fund donation. Similarly, a picnic donation jar will get more money if it sports a red and white checked design.

Donation Jars Bring Your Community Together

Donation jars are a great way to encourage community support for your cause. If you want to take it a step further, consider doing a fundraiser to generate even more support. Charitable donations can help bring a community together.

Creative Donation Jar Ideas to Encourage Giving