Here at whatCharity we love finding and sharing company initiatives that help to benefit the charity world in some way, so that we can connect those companies with the charities who need it most. This week, we spoke with Stephen Richards, Managing Director at Gone For Good, on his company’s charity initiatives. For this company, the sector is directly affected as part and parcel of the company itself.
In 2016, the UK sent 235 million items of clothing to landfill. This is quite an outrage, especially we know that almost 100% of clothing items are recyclable! The textile problem can be divided into three categories: pollution, ethics and waste. Gone For Good is here to solve the issue of waste.
What does your company do?
Gone for Good is a mobile app that simplifies and streamlines the charity donation experience for donors and charities alike. We match donors’ postcodes with charities who are using the Gone for Good platform in their area.
After signing up, donors follow a few simple steps – uploading product pictures, descriptions, original prices – and are able to select a nearby charity to donate to. They then liaise with the charity themselves to organise item collection at a time and place that suits the donor best.
Our goal is to bring donors and charities closer together, making the donation process easy enough that there’s no reason not to do it.
What are the benefits for the charities?
We find that charities often struggle to attract and motivate younger generations to donate. And although this generation isn’t necessarily cash-rich, they are often rich in “things”. By modernising the donation process and using an easy-to-use, free app, we can reach the younger generations more easily.
The Gone for Good system also makes it possible for individual charity shops to be more selective of the items they do and don’t accept. Whether they want to opt-out of certain product categories because they currently have too much stock, want to target specific categories they know will see the best returns, or want to reject an item after seeing its quality before committing resources to collect it.
We’re also of the opinion that, with the current challenges around attracting volunteers in the charity retail sector, creating a relationship with this younger generation can only mean good things for the future of the sector.
Do you have any ideas for charity initiatives that have not yet been implemented?
We’re always coming up with new ideas and looking for different ways to help the charity sector and love hearing from charities directly about new ways we can help and continue to make even more of a difference.
At the moment, we’re particularly proud of the progress of our sister company Charity Fleetcare. We like to listen to the sector and take the time to understand what is needed to keep generating the funds to support the fantastic causes it helps.
When it comes to Gone for Good, we will continue to develop the app. This will include Gift Aid signs ups, registration for volunteer interest, and other functions that may become important to the sector in the future.
How much does the service you offer cost?
When onboarding with Gone for Good, charities pay a small, one-off cost but there are no ongoing annual fees. Once on the platform, there is a fee to pay per accepted donation. We discuss this individually with each charity to ensure they are getting great value and seeing a good return on the investment they will be making.
What is your USP compared to competitors?
We don’t believe there is anyone else in the UK offering a service like ours. We are using the type of technology that most people already use in their everyday lives. Because of this, we’re able to target a valuable, relatively untapped demographic for charity donation, increasing the quality and value of donations to the charity retail sector.
By improving donor experience, charity interest, and the amount of waste generated by outdated donation methods, we hope to continue to strengthen and improve the retail charity sector’s future.