Sourcing freebies for "goody bags"

in Charities
7 replies 7.8K views
clairehiclairehi Forumite
1.4K Posts
Dear All

I wonder if anyone has any successful experience of this. I have been asked to try and organise goody bags for 300-400 youngsters at a children's sports tournament.

this is on a different scale to asking shops to donate raffle prizes and I wondered if anyone here has done this, how they went about finding suitable donors of large amount of low value items (perhaps snack items, stickers, pencils/pads etc) and persuading them?

many thanks


  • HoraceHorace Forumite
    14.4K Posts
    Write to companies such as Mars or Cadbury's and say that you are holding a charity event and wonder if they would donate some chocolate. I have done this in the past for a motorcycle rally (yes, we did raise money for charity) and Mars in particular were only too willing to send us some chocolate.

    Try Tesco and other supermarket chains for pads etc.

    Good luck.
  • RummerRummer Forumite
    6.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    I would agree with the poster above, you can contact large companies for donations and also ask smaller local businesses for financial donations especially local banks and then you can use the money donated to add to the gift bags. Try not to focus on having all the bags exactly the same as this may not be practical.
    Taking responsibility one penny at a time!
  • Chocmonster7Chocmonster7 Forumite
    2.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    I've found that the larger companies are inundated with requests so you tend to just get "sorry but no" replies. Try to think of an angle which will get their attention.

    I'm currently trying to get stuff for 100 goody bags for a horse ride in aid of the local Riding For The Disabled Centre and have written letters as if they are from one of the horses. It's got me quite a good selection of things!

    One item that is good for kids are the colouring books, stickers, etc. which are produced by the road safety campaigns. They are free and the government are very happy to give them to you.
  • kazzahkazzah Forumite
    460 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    you could check out In Kind Direct they often have a selection of "free items" ( you do need to pay postage) but they do tend to do things in large quantities we had 144 small lego car sets in boxes and about 150 girls purses from them last year- i think the postage was about £10
    10.5K Posts
    you could also try packing companies, which pack for the big named companies, i think you will find them under 'packers' in the yellow pages.

    i used to work for one, and they packed anything from chocolate, to shampoo, tooth brushes etc...
    Work to live= not live to work
  • fran-ofran-o Forumite
    807 Posts
    sometimes our charity asks specifically for supermarket vouchers for goodie bags - that way you can go and spend on whatever you may need for the bags, depending on what amount you are given. ie chocolate or snack bars, water-bottles, crayons, stickers, soaps...
    We also ask local companies for their free promotional items ie we got a load of cartoon character Tshirts from a big local insurance company and pens and keyrings from a bank. They are their freebies anyway, so hopefully they might be more willing to give away.
    We are finding it harder in the credit crunch than it was a few years ago.
    Good luck!
  • clairehiclairehi Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Thank you all for your replies, thats really helpful. Feeling slightly less daunted now!
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