Running a nonprofit organization or a charity requires a steady stream of funds, especially if you have a number of communities that need your support. Some may enjoy generous donations from big companies, but some are trying to be creative when raising funds, which include benefit events.
But if you are thinking for the long term, there’s one pursuit that you may want to consider: opening a thrift shop. What’s great about this is that everyone shops at thrift stores, so you are sure to find paying customers. Moreover, taking your shop to high-traffic places will raise awareness of your organization and its cause, thus possibly attracting other donors.
Starting a thrift shop can be quite challenging, especially if you do not know where to start. Know that there are many areas to cover, especially if you’re planning to open a big store. Thankfully, this article has some pointers that will help you a lot:
Plan the structure of your business
Before you open a store, you need to decide on its structure. Will it be fully independent of the charity, or will the charity’s board be fully hands-on with the operation? That way, you will know how the decision-making process will go. While you are at it, you must familiarize yourself with the statutory and legal obligations of a retailer, especially when it comes to tax. Part of the planning process is the creation of the budget. You will also need to assume how the income will be split up in the long run.
Think of the logistics
The logistics side of the business is among the core areas you need to focus on. This is because many of your items will come from private individuals, and you will need to create a system for how you will be able to source these. You can run donation, and pledge drives in various communities. Still, if you want to hasten up the process while ensuring that you will get quality items along the way, you need to advertise that you are also buying used items.
When sorting the items, you may find that some of them are not good enough for selling. Instead of throwing them out, you may choose to sell them to recyclers or rag businesses. You may also repurpose them into other items.
Part of the logistics is the transportation of the items from the pick-up points to your store. Since you’re just starting, you can use the charity’s existing fleet. But if you want dedicated transportation yet you don’t have the money yet, you may choose to lease one.
Come up with a marketing strategy
To create sales, you need people coming into your store. And for that to happen, you need to advertise your brand. Posters and local radio commercials may be good, but if you want a more targeted approach or reach younger audiences, go for social media marketing. And in case you’re running an e-commerce site, you may choose to have search engine optimization or SEO services.
Dress up your shop
Just because you’re running a thrift shop does not mean that your store will look dingy and old. You have a chance to make it hip so that you can provide your customers a good shopping experience. Other than having a new and shiny POS system or a comfy couch where customers can rest, you need to plan the layout of the shop so that it’s much easier to find things. Align the aesthetics of the shop with the charity.
Open your store for a cause
There are many ways to raise funds for your non-profit. But if you’re looking at the long term, a charity shop is certainly a good idea. May the pointers above help you with your cause.