Making the Connection Website matches donors’ ‘stuff’ with nonprofits’ needs With four kids under the age of 12, Susan Spalding ’96 and her husband, Stuart ’96, are endlessly sorting through outgrown toys and clothes. “It’s like we are in constant purge mode,” she said. The family made regular trips to Goodwill with boxes of stuff, and “that’s a perfectly great way to donate,” she said. But a little over a year ago, she read an article in Family Circle about an even better way. A woman in Portland, Ore., named Della Rae had launched a website called DonorsResource.org, which let potential donors in the Portland area and southwest Washington state search for local nonprofit groups by ZIP code and see their specific needs, whether that was clothing, furniture or computer equipment. “When I read the article and knew there was a way to find an organization to really help someone in need – whether they have an addiction or a disability, or it’s a single parent trying to get through college – it really tugs at your heartstrings,” Ms. Spalding said. “This toy or these cute little dresses could really help somebody out. It’s nice to hear what is going to happen to your stuff.” The article said that Ms. Rae hoped to expand the site nationwide. “I just thought about it off and on for several weeks,” said Ms. Spalding, whose degree is in business administration. Her youngest child will 42 BELLARM INE MAGAZINE DonorsResource.org is a great way for the entire nonprofit community to join forces and make themselves more accessible to people. People need to know that when they clean out their closets or move to a new home, there is a super-easy way to get connected to nonprofit groups and get a new home for their stuff.” So far, more than 90 nonprofit organizations in the metropolitan Louisville area – which includes Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham and Shelby counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties in Indiana – have been approved to participate in DonorsResource. org, putting the organization on a trajectory to meet Ms. Spalding’s goal of 100 by July, the local website’s anniversary. One group that has used the site several times is Volunteers of America Kentucky, which has requested and received items ranging from baby cribs to computer monitors, said Tandee Ogburn, director of community engagement for the Louisvillebased organization. “We have lots of generous donors, but often it’s whatever the donor wants to get rid of. It’s nice to be able to put our needs out there and to have people respond so quickly,” she said. “Whatever we need, we post it on there and see what happens. “It’s kind of funny that no one has thought of this before.” By Carla Carlton start kindergarten in the fall, and she had already been considering going back to work or volunteering to fill the extra time she would have. “I thought, ‘Maybe this is what I’m meant to do.’” She contacted Ms. Rae, made some calls, ran some surveys – and last July, with support from Metro United Way and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Louisville became DonorsResource.org’s first expansion city, with Ms. Spalding as its director. There are two ways to donate through DonorsResource.org. You can search the directory by ZIP code and look for a match among the needs listed by nonprofit groups near you. “But the more exciting way,” Ms. Spalding said, “is to hit the big pink ‘Donate’ button, give some basic information about yourself and the items you have, hit ‘submit’ and wait for the nonprofit to contact you.” She’s posted this way several times. “Once, I had kids’ books and toys and some small appliances. I posted on a Sunday night about 8 p.m. By 8:30 the next morning, a nonprofit had claimed it all, and they came by Tuesday and picked it up off my back patio. They were tickled to death to have it.” What’s great about Donors Resource is its collective impact, she said. “You have all these nonprofits scattered across the city, working individually to meet a goal, and they don’t have nearly enough manpower.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above