For the last several months I have been working with The Salvation Army’s Railside Food & Toy Distribution Centre. The challenge was to develop and implement a strategy that would improve overall donations and efficiencies, mitigate shortfalls and effectively leverage their corporate partner networks.
In spite of an imposing mandate the solution we arrived at was relatively simple: By creating an online system of donation portals we can effectively lower the barrier to entry (donors contribute with a click of the mouse rather than having to go out, buy product and drop them off), eliminate shortfalls (online donations are essentially cash so the ‘Army can buy what they need rather than be subjected to what people choose to drop off), this in turn creates efficiencies as purchasing in bulk saves significant dollars not to mention the fuel, labour and sorting costs associated with the pick up of donated items. Best of all we can easily engage employee groups and other partner networks with targeted emails that link directly to appropriate donation sites.
As of this posting both the front and back end systems have been developed and beta testing has begun. Another version is being created for Toronto Area Ford dealers with all sites expected to be live November 25th.