Think National, Act Local: How We Build Up Communities Nationwide through Our Retail Donation Program - Good360

Think National, Act Local: How We Build Up Communities Nationwide through Our Retail Donation Program

At Good360, we believe that strengthening communities at the grassroots level is critical to building their long-term health and resilience.

We have long worked at the local level to rebuild communities after major disasters, or to provide community nonprofits with donated goods that help them accomplish their missions more effectively.

We also believe that grassroots leaders are more likely to be aware of local needs and challenges — and the best ways to go about addressing those obstacles. By tapping into this on-the-ground knowledge within our network of nonprofit organizations, we’re able to direct donations where they are most needed at the right time.

Our Retail Donation Partnership (RDP) program is built on this concept of maximizing local ties to strengthen local communities. Our goal is to initiate and help sustain these partnerships for the greater good over the long-term.

The RDP program allows us to expand our reach across the country by matching up qualified nonprofit organizations with local retailers who can provide needed goods on a regular basis. It’s an excellent way for nonprofits to build relationships with local donors, who in turn, gain a better understanding of what communities in their area need most.

Many times, employees at participating retailers end up volunteering for the nonprofits that are their RDP partners, further strengthening the circle of relationships.

Here’s how the program works:

  1. Nonprofits look for local stores in their area who are RDP partners with Good360. These are often locations of national retail chains such as The Home Depot, West Elm, Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, and Pottery Barn.
  2. Using the Good360 online catalog, the nonprofit can search for available partnerships in their area and choose which program is best for their mission. Store matches are set up as one-year, renewable partnerships. During that year, we want to make certain that our nonprofit partners get the most out of the match.
  3. The store will reach out to the nonprofit when associates determine that there are enough donations to distribute. For some retailers, this may occur on a regular weekly or monthly schedule. For others, it happens on a case-by-case basis.
  4. The nonprofit is then responsible for making the pickup with its own transportation. Nonprofits are required to have a professional location or office to store products, an appropriate vehicle, staff and/or volunteers to pick up the items, and a plan to distribute the products to their constituents. Items cannot be stored at a residence or home-based business.

Through the strength of Good360’s national relationships, nonprofit organizations gain local access to donations that might not otherwise be available to them. Donations they receive through the RDP program enable them to apply more of their budgets to programs and services, allowing them to stretch their dollars further.

Additionally, they don’t need to spend a lot of time and energy trying to get in touch with retailers at the national level. The RDP program provides a direct relationship with stores that are already in their area. This relationship can grow year after year, and possibly lead to other fruitful collaborations.

For retailers, it’s an opportunity for employees to interface directly with nonprofits that are working directly to improve their local communities. When store associates feel like they are contributing to the nonprofit’s success and the success of their own communities, it boosts employee morale. Nonprofit partners often go out of their way to recognize the contributions of their corporate donors, improving their reputations locally and nationally.

The Home Depot was one of the first companies to sign on to the RDP program, which was established in 2008. The company’s collaboration with Good360 is called Framing Hope, and gives thousands of families access to valuable hardware supplies and equipment that they otherwise couldn’t afford.

Since Framing Hope began in 2008, more than $150 million of product has been donated to 1,600-plus local nonprofit organizations, reaching more than 600,000 low-income families. Local Home Depot stores give preference to nonprofit organizations that focus on providing affordable housing. The supplies allow them to repair, refurbish, and rebuild homes and facilities benefitting deserving families and individuals.

The Disney Store is the founding donor of the RDP program, and now has more than 200 locations matched with our nonprofits. Since 1998, the chain has donated millions of dollars worth of Disney merchandise, extending its core principles of brightening the lives of kids and families in need. Disney Store cast members have also created long-standing relationships with their local nonprofit leaders, strengthening communities across the country.

Besides Home Depot and Disney, Good360 currently partners with many other large retailers in matching stores with local nonprofit organizations, and the RDP program remains a hugely popular way for companies and nonprofits within our network to work together.

Our Retail Donation Partnership program underscores the power of relationships built locally, store by store, nonprofit by nonprofit, and sustained over many years. Multiply what we can do by matching one store with one nonprofit by thousands of these relationships across the country, and the impact is not only too large to quantify, it’s priceless.

If you are interested in participating in the RDP program, visit this page for more details.

Ken Williamson
ken@good360.org