Charitable organizations with 501(c)(3) status can now create online wishlists of necessities so donors can buy exactly what their favorite organization needs. DollarDays, a premier Internet-based product wholesaler to small businesses, local distributors and nonprofit organizations, launched the online registry for nonprofits to provide people another way to give to a cause.
Similar to a bridal or gift registry, the site allows charities to list their needs—from dog bowls and linens to office supplies, clothing and more—that can be purchased at a reduced cost through DollarDays. DollarDays has more than 30,000 items available at wholesale prices.
“People are generous but also […] worried how their cash donations are being spent,” said Marc Joseph, CEO of DollarDays. “By creating a registry, the charities get exactly what they need, and those who want to give can see exactly where their money is going.”
According to DSD Management Fundraising Services, [from] 2000 to 2004, the number of nonprofits increased 23%, but the amount of money donated by individuals decreased 2%.
More than 50 nonprofits nationwide are currently using the DollarDays wishlist. One of the first to implement the wishlist was [t]he Arizona Animal Welfare League, which is Arizona’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. Each year, the organization adopts out approximately 2,400 animals and provides education programs for children and adults.
“Using the DollarDays wishlist gives our supporters and donors the opportunity to buy products that directly help our animals and our shelter operations. As a nonprofit organization that operates entirely on private donations, this is an easy way for our supporters to help us meet our everyday needs,” said Claire Simeone, Community Relations Manager [for the] Arizona Animal Welfare League. “This is great idea that many other nonprofit organizations could benefit from.”
Another organization benefiting from the wishlist is Cradles to Crayons, a Massachusetts-based organization dedicated to providing poor and homeless children everyday supplies for life.
“DollarDays gets what we do and continually makes it easy for us to maximize our purchasing dollars,” said Jim Stevens, President [of] Cradles to Crayons. “Our DollarDays Charity Wishlist partnership enables us to make direct appeals to donors who like to know exactly what their donation provides. It gives our donors choices and maximum value.”
Joseph had the idea to create the registry in the days following [Hurricane] Katrina. Government agencies, church groups and individuals used DollarDays to buy items such as diapers, clothes and other basic merchandise […] for the hurricane victims.
“The people I spoke with days after Katrina said they felt safer and more comfortable buying necessities then sending a check,” said Joseph. “They knew that their items would get to the charity and to the people who needed it most.”
According to the FBI, before Hurricane Katrina even hit land, domain names were being bought up by scam artists, and there were more than 4,000 Katrina-related websites that popped up in the aftermath of the disaster.
Joseph adds, “The charities manage their registry so it’s legitimate and current. Charities always need items, whether it’s for the people or animals they are helping or administrative goods to keep their organizations working. Whether it’s money or merchandise, every donation helps.”
According to the American Institute of Philanthropy, a nonprofit watchdog and information service that grades national charities, philanthropies receive high grades for putting 75% or more of donated funds toward program goals while keeping their fundraising drives and overhead below 25%.
Since DollarDays is a wholesaler, the public can buy items off the charity’s registry at wholesale prices, so they are actually getting more for their dollar. DollarDays carries more than 30,000 items ranging from decorative items and clothing to personal care products and office supplies.