Receiving a donation at a typical thrift store is a benign transaction, at best. The donor drives up and drops off their stuff. He or she is thanked (maybe) and a receipt offered as the donor drives away. Often times, we never learn the donor’s name.
This event takes place hundreds of times across thousands of stores every month. And each time it occurs, a significant opportunity is being wasted to engage donors. This lost opportunity makes profitability for your thrift store all the more difficult.
The Value of Your Donation Stream
The donation stream is the key to success of a thrift store. If the volume and quality of donations aren’t great, the store has a 0% chance of being a great store. Today’s donors have literally dozens of choices where to drop off their donation and multiple organizations to pick up their donation. It’s why we believe 90% of all marketing dollars should be invested on requesting donations rather than focused on customers. But are we investing appropriately at the point of a donation?
With quality donations of the highest importance a knowing competition exists these donations at a high level, why is receiving a donation an afterthought? Turning this experience from a thoughtless encounter into a memorable one requires some focused attention.
Three Components to a Great Donation Experience
The components of a great donation experience are three-fold.
- A clean and uncluttered receiving area
- A plan for engagement with the donor
- The right person
Executed together, these three components optimize the chances of a great donation experience. We’ll detail each of these components in a future post. Recognize from the outset an investment is required to create the appropriate physical space, the relevant content, and the right person for the job.
Decide today to prioritize receiving a donation as the most important interaction that takes place at your thrift store.