International Day of Charity: How Good360 Contributes to the Greater Good - Good360

International Day of Charity: How Good360 Contributes to the Greater Good

On Dec. 17, 2012, the United Nations declared that International Day of Charity would be commemorated worldwide every September 5th.

The day is meant to recognize and celebrate the countless organizations, companies, communities, and individuals who are working to improve the lives of disadvantaged people around the globe.

The UN’s decision to pick Sept. 5th wasn’t accidental. That date also marks the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa, who devoted her life to helping those with the least means.

In creating a day devoted to charity, the UN sought to shine a spotlight on the world’s poor, emphasizing in its resolution that “poverty persists in all countries of the world, particularly in developing countries, regardless of their economic, social and cultural situation.”

On this day, all of us at Good360 are reminded of the critical link that our organization is able to provide between thousands of worthy charities and the companies that are willing to support them through product donations. We’re also reminded that poverty remains stubbornly pervasive throughout the world.

In fact, the level of poverty right here in the United States may surprise more than a few Americans. The magnitude of America’s poverty problem was highlighted this January in a report made by the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston. He recently embarked on an investigative tour of the U.S.

Here are some of his sobering findings:

  • 40 million Americans live in poverty and 18.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty
  • Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracy
  • U.S. infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world
  • A shockingly high number of children in the U.S. live in poverty. In 2016, 18% of children – some 13.3 million – were living in poverty, with children comprising 32.6% of all people in poverty

Here’s another way to look at it: Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton estimates that 5.3 million Americans are considered “absolutely poor” by global standards because they live on $4 a day or less (in India, by comparison, that standard is $1.90 per day).

By that measure, the number of absolute poor in America is greater than in Sierra Leone or Nepal, and is about the same as in Senegal.

Clearly, there’s a lot of work to be done to eradicate poverty just here at home.

At Good360, we are doing our best to do our part. As the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving, we partner with socially responsible companies to source highly needed goods and distribute them through our network of 60,000+ nonprofits that support communities in need. In 2017 alone, we distributed more than $340 million worth of product donations to charities and other nonprofits.

Our unique philanthropic model makes it easy for corporations to give to charities. By going through Good360, companies can support charitable causes around the country and world — without having to vet each organization individually. For nonprofits, we give them access to products that they most likely wouldn’t be able to access on their own and in quantities that can scale up to meet their demand.

Our purposeful giving channels include:

Local store matching: Our Retail Distribution Program matches stores with excess inventory with local nonprofits that pick up the items and distribute them within the community.

Online donation catalog: Companies ship donated goods to our warehouse in Omaha, Nebraska, and we sort and configure them into smaller cartons to ship to our nonprofit network. New donations are added almost every day.

Truckload program: Companies fill a semi-trailer of returned and overstocked goods to be donated. Good360 coordinates the logistics to ship directly to our larger nonprofit partners throughout the country and internationally

Disaster recovery: We enable companies and nonprofits to support the needs of disaster-impacted communities throughout the full recovery process by ensuring that the right goods are delivered to the right people at the right time.

Managed programs: We custom-design donation programs to meet a company’s unique philanthropic and social responsibility goals, helping address the needs of our nonprofit partners.

In 2017, through these various channels, we distributed 171,068 toys to children, 17,088 backpacks for back-to-school programs, and 14,095 mattresses to those without a bed. In all, we shipped 26,386 cartons of goods directly to nonprofits last year.

In fact, over more than 30 years, Good360 has distributed more than $9 billion worth of product donations. That’s a whole lot of good going to a lot of charities!

On this International Day of Charity, we hope you can take a moment to consider how you can do your part as well. Contribute to your favorite charity or give some volunteer hours. Rally family and friends on social media to help out, too.

To learn more about what we did in 2017, read our annual report. If you’re inspired by our work, please consider donating. For every dollar that we receive, we are able to turn it into at least $10 in product donations that go to people in need.

Shari Rudolph
Shari Rudolph
shari@good360.org

Shari Rudolph is Chief Marketing Officer of Good360 and is an accomplished retail, digital commerce and media executive with a strong track record of building audience, revenue and brands. Shari’s previous experience includes management consulting as well as various executive and leadership roles at both start-ups and large media and retail e-commerce companies in Southern California, New York and Silicon Valley. She is also an adjunct professor teaching classes in marketing, advertising and entrepreneurial studies and she earned her MBA from The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.