It’s obvious to you,
the NFP resale shopkeeper, manager, and staff. It should be obvious to your customers and donors as well. I mean, it says “Serving those in need” or “Exodus House” on your signs, right, and that says it all,
Why We Do This,
Well, no. Just like a restaurant frames its reviews, and a for-profit consignment or resale shop has its Brag Wall of professional affiliations and thank-you letters from clothing or household pantries, so a nonprofit thrift store needs to give its supporters as many reasons to support the store as you possibly can.
This is one universal that I have come across in each and every consultation I have done with nonprofit thrift stores: they don’t use the reason why the store exists to
build the base of the business.
In every case, I give the strong recommendation that they make a point of showing shoppers and suppliers just why the store exists.
Even as well-known as Salvation Army or Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul stores are, do their customers realize what the stores help finance? I’d be willing to bet my best thrift-store treasure that the answer is “no, they don’t know everything we do to help the community.”
The photos here show how beautifully and effectively this can be done. TheResaleShop of the National Council of Jewish Women sponsors a wide range of charities, and they’re not shy about putting that information out there. On the soffits. On colorful banners flanking an entry. As a well-lit backdrop for a display area.
inspire more sales,
and maybe even build loyalty
(and less price-quibbling!) to your business?Click the pictures to see in more detail.
Tell us by commenting below: how, where, and how often does your thrift store educate its customers and donors about “why we do this”? Or do you think the retail operation should stand on its own merits? Maybe your customers just don’t care… all they want is bargains?