Ink Jet RecyclingMost organizations that conduct fund raising are constantly on the lookout for a program that is fresh and a little different from what their community has seen before.

If you’ve not tried an inkjet recycling program before, then read on.

How the Programs Work

There are several competent programs that specialize in the recovery and recycling of computer ink cartridges.

Essentially, each program offers remuneration in one of two forms. The payment is most usually based on the number of units that are submitted under the guidelines of the program.

In some instances, the program will have specified collection dates each month. Within this type of structure, your organization would turn in all collected units on or before the cut off date. Compensation would be based on the number of collected units.

Other programs are volume driven; that is, you are responsible for collecting a minimum number of units before submitting your collection. Should the preferred method of compensation be cash, most programs will mail a check. However, some do bank transfers and other forms of electronic payment. If the remuneration is to be in replacement units, most will provide a statement on the number of recharged units you will receive, based on the used units you turned into the program.

One factor that seems to vary is the matter of shipping expenses. The more robust programs provide pre-paid postage labels for any organization that wishes to participate. A few require your organization to cover the postage on the front end and will reimburse you along with the compensation for your used cartridges. There are one or two programs that offer a slightly higher rate per unit and do not offer any type of reimbursement for postage.

Is This a Good Fit for My Organization?

Inkjet recovery and recycling can be a lucrative project for any organization that wants to create a revenue stream or earn replacement technology supplies. At the same time, it is an ambitious project. If you think your organization could sustain this type of fund raising project, consider the following:

What is your group’s level of ability to collect appropriate cartridges? If you are a school or a local house of worship, chances are you have a sizable constituency who uses the appropriate cartridges. If you do not have a fairly large group of persons who can participate in the collection, this most likely is not the fund raising project for you.

One other key issue is time. There is much more to this program than simply placing a collection box at strategic locations and letting things happen. Be prepared to allocate time and effort to publicize the collection, answer questions from potential donors, and to manage the submissions and receipts from the program itself. Keep in mind these will not be one time responsibilities, but ongoing ones. If your organization does not have the resources at hand to stay on top of this program, you will not receive little to no benefit in the long run.

Another important consideration is the type of cartridges that are accepted by the program. Just about every program will accept inkjet and laser cartridges that have printer heads (that is, cartridges that have copper colored strips on the print head). If your organization is not in a position to collect acceptable cartridges, then this program is not for you.

Where Do I Sign Up?

Once you’ve determined this is a fundraising program that is a good fit for your organization, the next step is to locate a compatible program provider.

One of the more informational web sites, in terms of explaining their program and providing basic facts to consider before starting your project would be Donations INK. This is a nationwide program that specializes in recovery and recycling of inkjet cartridges.

Funding Factory has offered a free fundraising through recycling program for educational and nonprofit organizations since 1997. FundingFactory even has extra incentives such as free gifts and bonuses throughout the year.

Fundraising can be a rewarding effort, in terms of improving your community. Coupled with the fact that a program such as inkjet recovery and recycling is good for our environment and you have a project that is worthy of your consideration.

Posted on 28 June 2006

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