Bringing Wishes to Life
A new, free service allows nonprofit organizations to set up online wish lists made up of items that they need, which individuals then can purchase for them as donations.
The program is run by DollarDays International, an Internet-based product wholesaler that offers more than 33,000 goods (ranging from clothing to personal-care products to office supplies) mostly to independent and mom-and-pop retail stores. Marc Joseph, DollarDays CEO and author of the book “The Secrets of Retailing, Or: How to Beat Wal-Mart!,” says DollarDays’ second-largest customer base is nonprofit organizations that buy products and supplies to take advantage of the site’s closeout and wholesale prices.
Joseph says the wish-list program was inspired by his desire to create a donation process that is tangible and accountable.
“The organizations get the kinds of products that they really want rather than just a bunch of stuff dropped off to them. And then on the other side, the patrons like this because now, rather than saying, ‘I sent $100 to my favorite organization,’ they can say, ‘I sent them a case of socks.’ So they can actually put their hand around what they gave and they know that the money went to something that was tangible,” Joseph says.
Charities involved in the program can choose from the thousands of wholesale products DollarDays offers and place them in their wish lists, specifying the amount needed. For example, a shelter for the homeless might list health- and beauty-care items, socks, and underwear on its wish list. The organization then can put links on its Web site that lead directly to its DollarDays wish list. Each item on the wish list includes a thumbnail photograph. When visitors to the site make a purchase for the organization, DollarDays sends the organization an e-mail notification of the purchase and ships the items.