Start a Diaper Bank!

Thinking about starting a diaper bank in your community? It’s not as difficult as you may think, and the result will be rewarding for all involved, and a benefit to your community!There are various logistics to starting up such an endeavor, but you can start small and grow over time. Our Diaper Bank is organized under the premise that those who need diapers very possibly need other social services as well. That’s why we collect diapers (through various drives, events and through purchases funded by donations), warehouse the diapers and then distribute the diapers to a variety of partner agencies who can work with individuals in need.

  • Having an office, phone, mailing address, and someone to coordinate, organize and educate is a good start. The best recommendation is to find a nonprofit that is willing to share these items in collaboration.
  • You can seek a storage space (donated or at low cost) for diapers (they DO take up a lot of room!). $1000 square feet of warehouse space holds approximately 300,000 diapers.
  • You can seek 501(c)(3) non-profit status, or look for a non-profit that might be willing to serve as a fiscal sponsor for your fledgling organization.
  • You can decide to distribute diapers yourself, coordinate pickups with a warehouse and/or partner with community service agencies including moving companies and local fast food restaurants.
  • Seek out local media to build awareness of what you’re trying to achieve. Diaper drives are very attractive to media. They’re eye-catching for video and offer great (and positive) human interest stories!
  • You might seek additional corporate support or sponsorship from one or more local businesses.
  • Creativity is a definite asset when you are low on resource!

Below is some information about the the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona which might prove helpful.

Organizational Structure

 
The Diaper Bank’s structure is collaborative. To create these collaborations, the Diaper Bank has identified the functions required to perform our mission. If some other entity is already doing that work in the community, we have found ways to collaborate to get the job done.Here’s how that structure looks:
 

Bringing community forces together to provide this service substantially reduces the total amount of cash required to provide our service. And even given the cash needs that do remain, the Diaper Bank’s administrative and overhead expenses are still a much-reduced part of that small dollar amount. With approximately 33% of our total budget provided in-kind, the overwhelming portion of every donation goes directly to providing diapers to those in need and raising awareness in the community of the issues that place people into poverty and crisis.Here’s how the collaboration has worked in Tucson. As we expand around the state, similar partnerships are in the process of being created.

 Function Responsible Party
Project Coordination and Diaper Collection Diaper Bank: Project coordination, creative / strategic direction, and diaper collection campaigns.
Storage, Inventory Control and Distribution of diapers The Beacon Group: A NonProfit focused on vocational training for the disabled, Beacon’s developmentally disabled clients use the Diaper Bank as on-the-job training.
Client screening and casework Agencies Who Serve the Needy: Local human service agencies are already working with the overall needs of these individuals.
Transportation Volunteers: Donates all pick up and delivery of large donations of diapers, including the entire dispatch function.
Public Awareness and Sponsorship Sales 94.9 MIXfm Radio: A saturation of public awareness by the top station in the 25-54 demographic, with the radio sales staff helping with sales of fundraising sponsorships.
Internal Advice and Education on Specific Issues Advisory Councils: Advice on a variety of topics – from overall agency needs to the specific needs of the elderly to strategic direction – provided by community members who care about the future of Tucson’s most vulnerable.

Looking for more information? Contact the National Diaper Bank Network!