Goodwill Thursday

Yesterday was Goodwill Thursday here at the WECO and what better way to celebrate the giving spirit of Goodwill than with a “Give it Good” donation drive? See the good below.

Goodwill Thursday on Vimeo

New Work: Goodwill Industries of the Upstate/Midlands South Carolina website

We recently redesigned for our friends at Goodwill Industries of the Upstate/Midlands South Carolina. We partnered with WECOmates truematter who did an amazing job at site architecture and site development. They always do!

We designed the site with users in mind — we knew it needed to be very easy for visitors to find what they were looking for. It also needed to inform visitors of the mission, which is job training and placement services for people in the community. The main (global) navigation incorporates five areas, three which are dominant: Donate, Shop and Find Work, and appear on every page throughout the site. The sliders below the main nav on the home page offer up stats and facts about Goodwill, and are designed to be updated often. The overall visual design infuses the existing brand identity that we developed and the tonality throughout the site is light and friendly.

This project was a fantastic collaborative effort involving lots of folks, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome. If you have a chance, please take a look — better yet, donate some items to your nearest Goodwill!


New Work: Goodwill Outdoor

I love this outdoor campaign we produced for our friends at Goodwill.

I am happy they love it, too.


Goodwill for Goodwill. And There’s a Prize!

from chair spindles to gorgeous tree ornaments

We couldn’t be happier about this one if we tried. Working with Goodwill Industries of the Upstate/Midlands SC is a dream assignment—powerful mission, great people, interesting projects.

A wonderful bonus of the work we’ve done for Goodwill is the friendships we’ve developed along the way. Good Life blogger Kendra Ardis, for instance.

We first met Kendra when she responded to our Craig’s List ad looking for The Perfect Person to help us develop and launch our first lifestyle blog, The Good Life. The blog centers around the definition of thrift we love the most, from Wikipedia:

the recycling of formerly-owned items, finding new use and new love for vintage material goods which had been thrown out, and the thrill of imagining what the former life of the item was like

A thrifter from way back, Kendra is the Perfect Person to write The Good Life.

wouldn't these look swell on your tree?

As a bonus, Kendra and The Good Life brought to us another artist who takes thrift to a new level, Barb Blair of Knack Studios. In a guest post on The Good Life, Barb transforms these old chair spindles into the most incredible Christmas Tree ornaments around. What’s more, she’s allowing The Good Life to give them away a set of 12 in a contest on the blog’s Facebook page as a way to bring more people who love the art of thrift to the blog.

(To enter to win these ornaments, just click on this link. Deadline is midnight tonight.

Maybe it’s just the traditional feeling of goodwill (pardon me) the holiday season brings, but we’re feeling grateful for so many things that came to Riggs Partners wrapped in the Year 2011—not the least of which is a wonderful new client and all the relationships therewith. We are truly grateful.

The Social Enterprise: Building A Business Behind A Nonprofit

We all know why nonprofits have to start thinking more like entrepreneurs. But how do we make our nonprofit more business-like?

Consider the social enterprise. By definition, a social enterprise is an organization that applies capitalistic strategies to achieving philanthropic goals. In some cases, an organization may have been founded as a social enterprise, as was Goodwill in 1902. Edgar J. Helms had the idea to collect used household goods and train people who were disadvantaged to repair and resell them. Today, Goodwill is a $3.2 billion nonprofit organization that uses funds generated from its thrift stores to provide employment, training and rehabilitation programs for people with barriers to employment.

But what if your nonprofit wasn’t formed as a social enterprise from the beginning? Never fear. Nonprofits are rising to the challenge every day, putting creative and viable business strategies to work.

Take a look at TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers) in Durham, NC. This nonprofit has not one, but seven businesses that support the nonprofit, most of which serve to train and rehabilitate substance abusers. Residents learn job skills while working for one of the businesses, which then generate revenue to support the program.

Here are some questions you might explore in considering a social enterprise strategy for your nonprofit:

Who does your nonprofit serve? Are there positive ways to engage this audience in a commercial activity? How would it benefit them?

What do your donors need? Is there an opportunity for a commercial product or service to meet this need? Can your organization deliver it to them?

Do your clients have an unmet social need? Could a new product or service address it in a new and relevant way? Is there a commercial market for it?

Granted, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to developing social enterprise strategies or any new form of revenue generation. Looking to successful brand marketers and their commercial endeavors can be the first step to getting outside of your fundraising box.