Completing the Donation Circle
11 July 2013 at 10:56 am
Product philanthropy organisation, Good360 is about to launch in Australia, filling the gap between corporate warehouse waste and charities’ needs, as journalist Courtney Garnham explains.
Good 360 Australian founder Alison Covington has been working to bring the international product philanthropy organisation to the shores of Australia to fill the gap between corporate warehouse waste and charities’ needs.
The Not for Profit organisation first launched in the US as Gifts-in-Kind in 1983, and takes donations of excess stock that may otherwise end up as landfill and makes it available to charities via an online platform.
The impact is three-fold- it allows corporations to meet their social responsibility goals, prevents products ending up as waste and gives charities access to products they need but could not usually afford, nor access.
The products available are new and include non-perishable items such as apparel, books, toys, personal care products, office and school supplies, computers and much more.
“It is like a massive garage that charities have never accessed,” Covington said.
“We hope it grows the whole excess inventory space- and it’s an environmental win too.
“Often it sits in warehouses and since we have said we have this model, people have contacted us [to donate goods].
“It is a combination of [ it currently] either being dumped or taking up space in warehouses.
“Charities are so resourceful and will find a use for it.”
Covington said Good360 allowed charities to make requests online of things they might need which could help corporates to donate the right types of products.
“Say a homeless program needs blankets, they put up a wish list and then corporates have access to it,” she said.
“It is a giving place rather than a marketplace.”
Covington said Good360 would be an ally for Not for Profits.
She said the decision to bring Good360 to Australian shores was simple. She remembers seeing an article about the work of Good360 overseas and couldn’t believe it didn’t already exist in Australia.
“It was just a no-brainer,” she said.
“You know how you just can’t let some things go?”
Covington said Good360 had “thousands and thousands” of charities in their Australian network already.
“We have lots of charities knocking on our door; they are very excited to have us here,” she said. “They are very interested. The smaller charities are very excited.
“They don’t have the teams in place to access big corporations; it is very hard for them to reach out so it is very exciting them.”
Covington said she believed the model would be a great success in Australia because it wasn’t replicating something that already existed- in fact, it completed the circle, complimenting similar organisations, like Oz Harvest and Foodbank which found a use for food that would otherwise be wasted by food businesses.
“I think we just complete their circle,” Covington said.
"I envision a world where, like recycling, corporate product giving becomes a habit.
“I am thrilled to bring this innovative Not for Profit to Australia in an effort to divert excess inventory from landfills and deliver much needed product to underserved communities."
Although the charity will have a large online base – being able to service all Australian states, it will initially be based out of Sydney with the intention to expand to a Melbourne warehouse once funding prevails.
Good360 has a successful 30 year history overseas and is set to start in Australia later this year.