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Why do Charities Collect Can Tabs?

on Oct 19, 2013

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Why Do Charities Collect Can Tabs?


Why do charities collect can tabs? Good question. The answer is – they don’t. Volunteers do.

Why do volunteers collect can tabs? Another good question. To raise money for a good cause, right? Yep. The scrap metal can be bought, and the cash donated to the charity. How much money? You might get about $0.60 for about 1,500 tabs.

Are you catching on that this isn’t actually going to be a post about collecting can tabs?

Without donors and volunteers, charities simply could not exist as we know them. To legally bind a charity to how much they can spend on anything deemed “overhead” is to automatically put them at a disadvantage to their for-profit counterparts. This is why charities don’t collect can tabs, but volunteers do.

Professional fundraisers deserve fair compensation if they are good at what they do, and if they are good at what they do they won’t collect can tabs or any other high-investment, low-return fundraising activity.

Fundraising has it’s share of public perception issues, and they won’t go away any time soon. I believe that one factor that feeds this from a young age is an activity like collecting can tabs. It’s easy, and people do it for free. The result of this is that the general public begins to define fundraising as an activity that is easy and free – an assumption that couldn’t be further from the truth. Fundraising isn’t easy, and a professional shouldn’t do it for free.


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This post was by Brock Warner. Hailing from Toronto, Brock works to foster and place value upon the act of philanthropy, no matter the size of gift. As a professional, he values the ‘how’ as much as the ‘how much’ and desire to see the fruits of my labour and energy be a catalyst for positive change. Connect with Brock on Twitter at @BrockWarner.

Why do charities collect can tabs?

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