04 Apr Good360’s 2019 CRP Summit: Leveraging the Good of a Growing Community
They came from all corners of the country and gathered this past week at Good360’s national headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The 63 nonprofit leaders from 37 organizations represent the largest group we’ve ever assembled for our annual Community Redistribution Partners (CRP) Summit. Over the past year, we’ve worked hard to onboard new organizations into the program and to better support existing members. And it showed in the size of this year’s conference — and in the passion and sense of purpose that attendees brought with them.
Our CRP network, which now totals 74 organizations located nationwide, is one of our most effective channels for amplifying our overall impact and strengthening our mission to transform lives. Each CRP typically serves hundreds of nonprofits in their area by redistributing goods obtained through Good360’s corporate partners, such as Walmart, Tempur-Pedic, or Bed Bath & Beyond. Each year, we bring as many CRP representatives to our headquarters as possible to share best practices, lessons and tips for running their operations better. The theme of this year’s summit was, simply, “community.” In that sense, we want to create a community of nonprofit leaders that can help each other succeed so they can make the most meaningful impact on their respective communities.
In his opening remarks, Good360 CEO Howard Sherman said the ultimate goal of the CRP program is to create a connected network of nonprofit organizations that can deliver critically needed goods to those in critical need. To facilitate this connected network, we designed the summit to cram as much knowledge sharing, networking and camaraderie as possible over three jam-packed days. “I’ve always believed that if we all get together, we can do more to help the poor, the homeless, and vets,” said John Grice, director of Bikers Against Hunger, one of three prospective organizations at the summit eager to join our CRP family. “It’s not just working in unity, but in service and in self sacrifice. I’m looking forward to opening up a close relationship [with you all], not just a dialogue.” The first day of the confab featured a panel spotlighting how various CRPs are serving their communities around the country. Among the highlighted organizations were two that we have profiled previously in this blog — Agape Distribution in Sidney, Ohio, and Hands In Service, based in the Philadelphia suburbs — and United Way of the Plains and CARE Community Center.
To conclude the first day of sessions, attendees took in a discussion on “navigating the evolving donor landscape.” That panel included speakers from two CRPs we’ve also profiled on this blog: Morning Day Community Solutions and Operation Food Search. One of the key takeaways was the importance of building relationships with retail partners, such as the local Walmart associates who are helping to fulfill donations as part of Good360’s Retail Donation Partnership program. How do you get store employees invested in your nonprofit? You need to share your organization’s stories directly with them, letting them know about the impact you’re making. After all, the employees also live in the community that you’re trying to help. “Every time we do a newsletter, we have the driver take it to the store associates,” said Christine Sanchez, from Giving Children Hope in Buena Park, California. “It’s something they can pin as a reminder for their team, and it helps maintain the dignity of the donation.”
The second day of the summit was no less packed with sessions on Good360’s disaster recovery initiatives, how to share the story of a nonprofit’s impact, building lasting relationships with nonprofit funders, among other topics. A major discussion topic throughout the summit was figuring out ways to better convey the “collective impact” of the CRPs working around the country. Every month, the entire network supports thousands of nonprofit organizations, which in turn, help tens of thousands of people to get critically needed goods such as clothes for their families, school supplies for their children, and appliances for their homes. And every month this impact grows ever larger. One key step toward unifying the CRP network will come in the form of technology. We are already in the development phase of a community-based online platform, scheduled to pilot later this year, that will allow our CRP organizations to better communicate with each other. “We are an ecosystem,” Howard Sherman told the gathered group in his closing remarks. “We are here to empower you to do what you’re going to do anyway, but with more resources. Our goal is make this program as useful for you and us as possible.”