Water Tower Donations


  • To convince people to donate
  • To collect donations for charities in exchange for water
  • Due to the new San Francisco ordinance No. 009-17 - Bottled Water and Package Free Ordinance, single-serve water bottles cannot be sold or provided on public property at a permitted event. This ordinance helps reduce waste and encourages the use of refilling stations. To make water available to fairgoers, FSE will locate Water Towers throughout the fairground.


  • Water Tower Donation Volunteers handle cash donations at the Water Towers in exchange for cups of water, a Folsom-branded bottle, or for a refill of a Folsom-branded bottle or any other bottle (we encourage both volunteers and fairgoers to bring their own water canteen).
  • Check in at Volunteer HQ; then report to Beverages Department Supervisor
  • Make sure to sign in (name and time) when you first meet with the Beverage Department Supervisor
  • Make sure to sign out (name and time) with the Beverage Department Supervisor at the end of your time with Beverages. You may be told ahead of time that you can go after completing a certain task (and will be signed out automatically). If so, there is no need to look for the Department Supervisor to sign out again.
  • Please do what is asked of you by Department Supervisor and/or the Super Volunteers for Beverages.
  • If you want to use gloves during your shift, take a few pairs from the Volunteers booth before heading out to your Water Tower location.
  • Each Water Tower is partially enclosed by barricades. Do not reconfigure the barricades unless told to do so by the Beverage Team.


  • You will work in teams of two or three at each Water Tower and will be given a partially enclosed bucket to collect donations. For security, place the bucket under the Water Tower inside the metal frame base. Do not leave the donation bucket exposed to the crowd.
  • Each Folsom bottle is wrapped in a plastic sleeve to protect the printed logo during shipping. During down time, please remove this plastic wrapping from the bottles in preparation for sales. We will give you a trash bag to be used for soft plastics only.
  • To help reduce waste on the fairgrounds, we are discouraging single-use cups and encouraging reusing cups and bottles.
  • Encourage fairgoers to: (1) donate a minimum amount to receive a foldable Folsom bottle, (2) reuse a juice bottle, or (3) refill their own canteen before relying on a cup. Even though the water cups are compostable, they still add to the amount of waste generated. Help us be greener than we already are!
  • Sell up, and not down — ask people if they want a Folsom bottle before asking if they want a cup of water.
  • There will be signs for you and fairgoers listing minimum/suggested donation amounts.
  • There is a minimum donation for a cup of water, but more is always appreciated.
  • There is a minimum donation for a Folsom-branded collapsible bottle, but more is always appreciated.
  • There is a suggested donation to refill a cup or bottle, but more is always appreciated.
  • No change is given at the Water Towers.

Fairgoer interaction:

  • Remind Fairgoers that all proceeds go to charities that serve their community. 100% of donations collected at the Water Towers fund specific and inspiring projects of our Beneficiary charities in the areas of The Arts, Health and Human Services, and Social Justice.
  • You are all volunteering on behalf of a specific Beneficiary charity. Instead of listing the names of all Beneficiaries, tell Fairgoers why you are volunteering your time on behalf of your specific Beneficiary.
  • SMILE and be welcoming!
  • Be festive...make people want to give you money!
  • Use sound bites (see suggestions below).
  • Appeal to a person’s sense of goodwill, charity, etc.
  • Say THANK YOU!

End of fair:

  • At the end of the fair you can continue to collect donations until someone with an ACCESS badge tells you that this is the last time they are emptying your bucket. Once your bucket has been emptied of all donations for the last time (~6pm), it is ok to leave the Water Tower. Open up the barricades and any remaining fairgoers are then free to self-serve. If fairgoers still want to donate at this time you can direct them to the Folsom Street Events website,, where they can donate.
  • Collect all equipment (signage, soap, bucket, remaining bottles & cups); bring all to the Water Tower in Hospitality.
  • Bring your bag of soft plastics (bottles plastic sleeves) to the nearest trash tower.
  • After completing these tasks, the PM Water Tower Volunteers are free to go/your shift is now over and are considered “signed out”. If you are a floater, return to the Volunteer Booth to be reassigned.


  • Do not leave the water tower with any donations or leave a water tower unattended. Only specific people with yellow ACCESS badges are authorized to empty your buckets. They will come on a regular basis.
    • Don’t put or keep any money in your pocket, cleavage, etc., even for a minute (your don’t want onlookers to think you’re stealing). Leave purses in coat check.
    • Don’t set your bucket down; if you get tired, have your partner hold it and swap duties of who collects donations and who pours water.
    • Don’t open up your bucket to make change — we do not give change at the Water Towers. If a fairgoer has no cash or doesn’t want to donate, it’s ok to still give them water (these are donations after all, not purchases).
  • The stickers given out at the gates do not apply to the Water Towers. These stickers only apply to the Beverage Booths and give $2 off any purchase of Cocktails, Beer and Juice/Soda.
  • Everyone deserves equal respect.
  • Flirting feels good all around.
  • Ask before touching! Just because they are scantily clad, doesn’t mean you have permission to touch their person.
  • Sometimes you need permission to talk to a slave.
  • Learn the names of our beneficiaries and refer people to the signs at each water tower. We REALLY want to communicate that this is a fundraiser and their Water Donation goes to the our beneficiaries. Check out the groups here.
  • Don’t get tricked into “Can you watch this? I’ll be back in a minute.” Your task is to collect donations and supply water.
  • Don’t get frustrated.
  • Don’t bring a bag to the Water Tower. Things disappear. We will have a place at volunteer check in where you can leave your belongings.


  • Thank you for supporting your community (works on those who don’t donate as well)
  • Give ‘til it hurts.
  • Who thought so much fun could do so much good?
  • Help support local communities/charities.
  • Every Donation is a large donation.
  • Donate! Don’t make me spank you.


  • Use spirited, fun salutations and greetings that don't involve gendered terms
  • DO: Hello, Welcome Ya’ll, Hi Folks
  • DON’T: Sir, Ma'am, Mister, Miss, Ladies and Gentleman, Guys, Gals, Hey You Guys
  • If you don't know someone’s name or pronouns…
      • DO: Refer to them by an article of clothing they are wearing or their Badge Name
      • DON’T: Use a gender pronoun (e.g., she, her, he, him)
  • It’s important to never assume someone's gender identity or pronouns if you don't personally know them.
  • If someone messes up, either publicly model, gently correct them, or speak with your Shift Supervisor.
  • If you mess up, apologize and move on.

If you have any questions about these training requirements, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator of the beneficiary organization you selected.

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