Preparing for the Rush of Donations (Part 2 of 2)

Previously, a plan was identified to collect relevant information on donations and then analyze that data to identify trends. With this information in hand, we’re ready to implement some strategies and tactics so we can be prepared for the rush of donations.

Be Proactive

Here are suggestions to handle an influx of donations.

  1. Have extra supplies and receptacles available at the donation center. If you don’t have space for extra supplies, make sure they are being delivered to the donation center throughout the week, especially on Friday, Saturday and Monday. Your donations are typically higher on these three days.
  2. Increase the staff receiving donations.
  3. Increase the pickup frequency, if you are using trucks to move donations from store to store or to an offsite location. If trucks are picking up twice a week during the slow time, increase it to three times prior to the influx and then ramp up to every day if needed. Yes, you will be increasing labor hours but the value of the donations coming in should cover this cost.
  4. Plan ahead for “what if’s”.
    • What if the warehouse you used is full of donations? Rent pods and place at donation centers for short periods of time when warehouse space isn’t available.
    • What if a truck breaks down?  Create accounts with local truck rental companies in the case of a truck breaking down.
    • What if employees are sick or positions are unfilled? Hire seasonal workers for short periods of time.

Ready for the Rush

The smoother the experience for the donor, the more likely he or she is to donate again. The number one thing is to be prepared for the rush of donations before they arrive.

  • Track your donations.
  • Analyze your data for trends.
  • Put systems, staff and schedules in place prior to the influx of donations.

Together, everything will run so much smoother. You are now positioned to enjoy all of the donations you receive and the added sales they bring.

Happy donors equals happy thrift store!

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