Why Do People Donate To Charity Shops?

It’s an interesting question and I think for 99% of the donations we think we know the answer…

  • They want to support the charity because they have experienced the wonderful work they do.
  • They like to support charities in general and like the thought of their unwanted items having a useful life elsewhere.
  • They recognise that donating unwanted items to charity is a great thing to do for the planet…recycle rather than landfill.

I’m sure there are many more great reasons why people donate and we appreciate the items we get what ever the reason…with one exception…

When items are left on our doorstep out of hours!

7.45am Monday morning this is what greets me…a bag of clothes left (sometime between 4.30pm Saturday and 7.45am Monday). The bag has been torn open and clothes are strewn everywhere!

Somebody may have left these with the best intentions…but we do have signs up asking people not to leave donations when the shop is closed…the only thing I can do with these is put them in the bin.

It’s very frustrating…it makes our shop and quite often the surrounding area look awful…it becomes a health risk for staff and volunteers…how long has it been there…how many dogs have relieved themselves there…is there anything else in there, broken items, sharps…would you want to start your working day clearing this up?

Saturday afternoon I closed the shop at 4pm, popped upstairs for 5 minutes when I came down someone had dumped a broken computer in the doorway!

I couldn’t sell this even if it was working…St Mary’s Hospice will have to pay to dispose of it correctly!

You know…we get some amazing donations into our shops that help raise much needed funds for our wonderful hospice…and I wouldn’t want to alienate any genuine donators…but maybe some people just aren’t aware that when they choose to dump goods on our doorstep they aren’t helping a good cause…in some cases they are actually costing it money!

if you have items you would like to donate but can’t make it when the shop is open…please get in touch by phone or Facebook and we can collect…make sure your donation is making a difference in a good way!

Challenge Accepted..

Here in Barrow shop we like a bit of healthy competition, we’re always setting ourselves little in-shop targets to try and beat…it keeps us motivated and helps us raise as much money as possible for the hospice, not to mention adding a little fun to the day!

We’re always pushing ourselves…to sell more pound items…to increase eBay listing…to recruit more volunteers…the team just doesn’t stop!

Our bravest and toughest challenge so far involves Kite Books…this is a system we use that allows us to sell items through Amazon…books, DVD’s, CD’s and more recently new toys, games and jigsaws.

Six months ago we had 250 items listed online using this system…we were bringing in a decent enough income from it but it was clear there was scope for more…I made a commitment then (in my head only at this time for obvious reasons!) that in 12 months time St Mary’s Hospice would have 1000 items listed for sale…my reasoning being…more items listed…more choice for customers…more sales for the hospice!

Asking for that kind of an increase is not easy…let’s face it, was it even realistic? I didn’t really know, but it was a challenge I wanted the team to try and achieve…but we couldn’t do it alone. We needed every shop to play their part! Yes, if you visit Barrow shop you will see boxes and boxes of online items…but that doesn’t give you the full picture…they didn’t necessarily start out here.

All St Mary’s shops contribute stock to the online selling forums…we have volunteers everywhere, armed with scanners eager to find items to be listed…we have drivers ferrying the online stock to Barrow shop for storing, picking, packing and posting once sold…it’s a real team effort…a Retail Team Effort (from this point forward it shall be known as an RTE).

There’s no stopping an RTE…the momentum just keeps on building until we reach our goal…it’s both scary and beautiful to watch!

I could wax lyrical for ever about the awesomeness of an RTE…but that’s kind of taking me away from the point I’m trying to make…so let me focus!

It’s six months since I made that private challenge…it became a Barrow challenge very soon after and then a wider retail challenge…we have all worked so hard on making this achievable and do you know what…we’re pretty close already…with six months gone we have gone from 250 items to 754 items listed…that’s not a bad effort is it?

I’m so proud of everyone involved…who instead of doubting or complaining, just rolled up their proverbial sleeves and showed up to help…a true RTE!

With 6 months left I thought I would share our challenge with you…you might want to help…either by volunteering your time or by donating goods…whatever you decide is great 🙂

Interested in volunteering contact your local St Mary’s Hospice shop…check out our website, http://www.stmaryshospice.org.uk or leave a message on our Facebook page, Retail at St Mary’s Hospice.

If you would like to donate goods that could possibly be sold on line (subject to value when scanned) you can take them to any of our shops or have them picked up from your home by one of our retail drivers…call Trish on 07541359881.

Items suitable for Kite include…books…DVD’s, CD’s. We also sell new toys, games and jigsaws…how many times do we buy something only never to use it…never take it out of it’s packaging?

If you would like to help us reach our goal and be involved in a most awesome RTE act now…you won’t regret it!