Our callers are frequently surprised to find out we charge for our removals service. We get asked questions like: Why do I need to pay to donate? Why are you charging me? I thought this was a donation? Why do I need to pay to give a gift? Well, it is a donation, and no, you don’t need to pay to donate. We do however charge for our removal service, which helps keep our charity alive. Let us explain.
A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being (Wikipedia). Of course, as long as the legal regulations vary between countries, there is one common factor: those organizations cannot use their funds to profit any individuals or other organizations. There are some exceptions though. The charity can pay for services or goods it needs, it can also pay the staff if it “helps to further its cause.”
Moreover, we are a social enterprise. Social enterprises are businesses that put the interests of people and the planet ahead of shareholder gain. These businesses are driven by a social/environmental mission and reinvest profits into creating positive social change. (Source: Google).
And since a Furniture Bank is both a non for profit charity and social enterprise, we use the funds collected from our removal service to help offset our operations costs. It all comes down to how we operate:
- Receiving your furniture means we need to a) transfer furniture and b) store furniture. We need staff to coordinate donation pickups, staff to provide the removal service, and staff to receive the donations at our warehouse.
- Providing furniture to families in need means we need staff to coordinate with referring agencies, coordinate with clients to receive furniture, and staff to make the delivery.
- If we want to help more families living in poverty (we do!), we need to receive more furniture from you. This means we need to find a way to reach out to Canadians who are willing to help. This involves marketing, branding, and people working tirelessly behind the scenes.
And these are just three examples. Each time you pay for our removal service, you don’t need to worry if your items will find a second home because we take care of it: we take care of the whole process along the way. All you need is some gently used furniture and the want to help those in need. We take care of the rest. Because it’s our job and we are great at what we do.