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Lock down your donation boxes

Christmas is coming. If you are a retailer or a non-profit organization, now is the time to improve the security of your charitable donation boxes.

It happens so many times each year during the holiday season across the United States and Canada.  A prolific offender goes into a coffee shop, or a hardware store, or a nice boutique shop in the local mall. Really, it can happen anywhere that generous employees and business owners are collecting money for those in need. The thief grabs the donation box from the retail counter, fleeing with $30 or $40 in small change.

Inevitably this preventable crime gets huge media attention. Didn’t the suspect realize that money was for children? Who would commit such a vile act? (The answer: usually someone who is desperately seeking money to buy heroin or crack cocaine.)

McDonalds has this problem figured out. If you look at their donation boxes, they are made of metal and secured to their front counter. You need a key to open them. They are largely tamper proof:

McDonalds Donation Box

If drilling into your front counter is not an option, try improvising. Perhaps buy a security cable and a combination lock:

A security cable for donation boxes

Use a sturdy donation box made of thick plastic, wood, or metal (not cardboard). Another option is to order a donation box off the Internet. I can’t recommend any products but if you Google “secure donation box” you will probably find what you need. Finally, empty the box on a regular basis – don’t wait until after Christmas.