Free fundraising buckets can be borrowed from local charities or constructed from donated material. Charities commonly associated with fund raising buckets include churches, fire departments and veterans organizations. The Salvation Army is famous for its red fundraising buckets.
An additional option for getting free fundraising buckets is to apply for a grant to purchase bucket materials or pre-made buckets. Online database services such as FoundationCenter.org keep lists of various foundations offering grants. Each grant will need to be submitted for a certain deadline and will need to clearly outline the purposes of the fundraising buckets to the potential donor. To get a clear idea of what types of grants are offered, look through the foundation's publicly available IRS-990 form, which outlines each grant made in a year.
Collection buckets can be built out of any type of containers, including buckets, boxes and cans. A collection box must have a lid, it should be sealed and it should be able to be locked. Buckets should also have protection from theft. In addition, local laws may require collection buckets to be measurably sealed and numbered, as in the case of the United Kingdom.
If free buckets are not available, containers can be ordered from online retailers such as ChurchSupplier.com or MyCharityBoxes.com. Buckets are sold in wood, plastic and metal, and they can be custom-designed or transparent.