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What Nonprofits Do with Seasonal Donations


When a winter coat goes unused, or a pair of skis never sees the slopes, owners will often donate these goods to nonprofit organizations. Generally, those transfers are made at the end of the season, leaving the charitable donations without many buyers or recipients, and the nonprofits left deciding what to do with their surplus of items. When it comes to cash, earmarked funds are often saved for later use. But large, bulky items and seasonal gear, more often than not, find their way to a nonprofit’s storage unit until the following year.

What Happens When Nonprofits Have More Donations Than They Can Handle

Another way nonprofits can end up with overages of goods and cash on hand is when a major event draws local or national attention to a specific need. Toy drives for the holiday season and emergency weather conditions are common culprits. It’s always amazing to see a community turn out to help those in need, and donations are likely to eventually find their way into the right hands over time. Sometimes, though, the response is disproportionate to the need, or the organizations receiving donations simply can’t keep up.

Nonprofits often turn to self-storage for business purposes when there is a massive influx of goods, as space is likely to be at a premium at store or drop-off and distribution locations. The flexibility of storage units and the convenience of easy access makes them a handy tool for organizations of all sizes.

Sorting a Nonprofit’s Storage Unit for Efficiency

Efficiency is key when keeping any storage unit organized, and nonprofits have a vested interest in keeping their goods easy to access and well-labeled. It is common for nonprofits to depend on volunteer labor, and a constantly rotating team of volunteers needs a clear, easy to use storage and organization system to function. Many organizations that operate thrift stores or emergency relief organize by season or event.

They may dedicate specific shelves or even individual storage units to spring or winter merchandise. Or, they may find using distinct labels for flood, fire, and earthquake responses is the best way to go. All nonprofits have a mission in mind, and storage organization should flow naturally from that mission. The more streamlined the organization system, the better chance volunteers and workers have of fulfilling their mission.

Keeping Donations in Good Shape

Storage units are ideal for dealing with tangible goods, as well as documents, as they shelter contents from a variety of hazards. Dust, dirt and debris can easily accumulate in open storage areas at the back of stores or offices. Workers can more easily secure fragile items or perishables for long-term storage without fear of passers-by accidentally causing things to break or wandering off with merchandise.

Nonprofit workers are likely to wrap goods for seasonal storage in plastic packaging to make use of the prodigious space afforded by storage units. Tight plastic packaging is great for keeping clothes, documents and perishable goods in top condition until the need arises. Items may be stored on pallets for easy retrieval in bulk when seasons change, or in bins labeled appropriately for disaster relief and specific hazards.

When nonprofits get more donations than they can handle, they often turn to self-storage solutions to keep things manageable. Among the many benefits are easy access, flexibility, reliability and security. Keeping things on hand following a big donation period ensures that nonprofits have goods on hand to address the needs of the community when the time is right.

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