By Ashley Kasprzak, JVA Consulting

My friend, Melissa Jensen, is the Foundation Director of the High Plains Library District and she is aptly complementing traditional fundraising efforts with a new method: an online gadget drive. She recently set up a drive through the Web site Gazelle to raise money for High Plains Library District Foundation.

A gadget drive is a way to fundraise that turns your used electronics (laptops, cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and more) into cash to support a cause. Find the value of the gadgets you would like to donate, and send them to Gazelle (shipping is free). The value will go to support High Plains Library District Foundation. Gazelle champions reuse first, and as a last resort, will recycle items they can’t reuse.

Gadget drive participants register items for donation online and then Gazelle sends them postage paid packaging to mail them in. The High Plains Library Foundation should receive payments 10 days after donation.

After a cursory online review of Gazelle, it seems that some individual sellers are angry they haven’t seen their money as quickly as they expected. However, even with those complaints, I am going to donate a few items that have otherwise just been sitting in drawers. Melissa says that although she is trying this for the first time, she has confidence that it will have the return her group expects.  She talked to three other nonprofits that have used Gazelle and they were really happy with the results. Donating a few items that I wasn’t going to get a return on anyway allowed me to support the High Plains Library District, so I am willing to donate a few thing-a-ma-jigs for the cause.

I’ll report back in May so we can all see if the High Plains Library District received the donations they expected.

Got an innovative way of raising funds? Comment on this blog or send ideas to JVA Consulting and we’ll blog about those, too. Send your ideas to Collin Lessing, JVA’s Marketing Coordinator, at