What happens when products don’t sell or inventory runs too high? What about overcapacity due to fluctuations in market demand?
The fact is that business’s get stuck with slow moving items or inventory that can’t be moved at all. Where do these goods go?
In a lot of cases product winds up in the landfill, but not if the charity Good360 has a say in it.
“Instead of something going into a landfill, Good360 connects companies who have things to give people who need things,” says Carly Fiorina, chair of Good360. “At Good360 we’re about donating instead of dumping.”
Fiorina says all you have to do is look in landfills to realize that there is a lot of stuff being dumped that could be used by people in need.
Fiorina joined Good360 a little less than a year ago. The former chairman & CEO of Hewlett-Packard was Fortune’s Most Powerful Woman in Business for six consecutive years and is a regular contributor for CNBC, providing commentary on innovation, competitiveness, job creation and more.
“When I was asked by Good360’s search committee about chairing its board of directors, it was something I had to do because I was impressed with its mission, operating model and the efficiency of how the organization is run,” says Fiorina.
Good360 offers the dual benefit of keeping product out of the landfill, thereby creating a more sustainable environment, and at the same time putting unwanted product into the hands of charities that can then give them to people who need them.
Consistently recognized by Forbes as one of America’s top 10 most efficient charities, since its inception in 1983 Good360 has distributed more than $7 billion in product donations to its network of more than 34,000 charities serving countless causes, individuals and communities.
Part of its success hinges on Good360’s best use of innovative technology to get donations into the hands of people who need them.
“Good360 has undergone a transformation over the last several years under president and CEO Cindy Hallberlin’s leadership,” says Fiorina. “The organization has invested in a technology platform that allows it to very effectively match donations to charities that can use them. We can take product in virtually any shape, size or form and package it in a useful way. The technology allows everything to happen in a more efficient and effective way. The 34,000 charities we work with can be overseen through this technology platform.”
The technology platform provides companies with expert donation management and a range of logistics services, including picking up available inventory and getting it into the hands of nonprofits in need. They also provide comprehensive donation tracking and reporting essential to measuring giving impact and maximizing the benefits for recipients and donors alike.
The Nonwovens Industry Can Help!
The nonwovens industry manufactures many of the products that are highly needed by Good360 charitable groups.
Realizing that its member companies and the industry would benefit greatly from a simple and effective way to donate excess inventory to worthwhile charities, INDA Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry - partnered with Good360 in November 2012 to launch the first-ever nonwovens industry giving initiative.
So why now?
INDA initiated the partnership with Good360 due to demand from its members that wanted a charity partnership to help them make donations. “We were delighted because hygiene products are such a high need category,” says Fiorina. “The company’s INDA represents make products that people desperately need.”
This partnership creates a simple and streamlined way for companies up and down the nonwovens supply chain to donate products and make contributions to nonprofit organizations in need, helping companies improve their bottom line and, more importantly, making a difference in the lives of the families and communities that need it most.
“Because our industry offers an unusually diverse array of product offerings that can be useful to those in need – things like diapers, medical supplies, wipes, building materials and filter products – we are in a unique position to help out those in need,” says INDA president Dave Rousse. “Our partnership with Good360 allows companies to give something back to the community by streamlining the process of finding organizations or individuals who can actually use their goods, which charities are worthwhile, or how to get the products to those who need them the most.”
“We have the ability to tailor a giving program to any company’s needs,” says Good360 vice president of Donor Relations, Doyle Delph. “Our partnership with INDA will provide the nonwovens industry with 360 degrees of good – good for companies, good for communities and good for the environment.”
In addition to the corporate social responsibility benefits, companies can make a positive difference for individuals and families struggling to make ends meet. Donations help to foster support and good will with employees and the local community as well as reduce landfill waste.
In addition, giving can be good for a business’s bottom line at the same time it is helping others. “Companies that donate through the INDA/Good360 program qualify for an enhanced tax deduction,” says Fiorina.
3M, Walmart, Clorox, Avon and L’Oreal are examples of the many companies onboard with the giving cause.
Good360’s partnership with 3M has lasted for 30 years. “It started out because 3M was trying to figure out how to deal with inventory from a business that the company was exiting,” says Fiorina. “Ordinarily this excess would go to a liquidator or landfill. In 3M’s case its partnership with Good360 has helped evolve into a strategically managed program for the whole company.”
In terms of donations, Good360 does receive cash donations but is looking for more product donations. “The things that seem everyday and commonplace are really important,” says Fiorina.
Company’s that donate can be involved with end charities if they choose. “Good360 can connect companies to charities in communities directly,” says Fiorina. “For example, The Home Depot works with charities at the community level. Another way is through our technology platform, where a charity that receives product from a donor company can tell their story so people understand the impact the donations have had on their lives.”
The bottom line is that Good360 can help the bottom line by turning a bad business experience into a great experience for employees, individuals and communities. “This organization’s unique model enables them to deliver, on average, $70 worth of product for every dollar donated.”
As Fiorina explains, one in six Americans lives in poverty and the heaviest of this burden falls on women and children. Hygiene products are in desperate need and the nonwovens industry can help.
“There are so many products that can have a big impact on somebody’s life,” she says. “Disposable diapers, for example, are not covered by food stamps or other government programs. It’s so simple and the opportunity to make a difference is enormous.
“We need more publicity and to continue to spread the word,” says Fiorina. “Once companies know we’re here to help they will get involved. It’s good for the bottom line, good for employees and good for the brand, not to mention the charities, the environment and the individuals in need. There is no reason for a company to look the other way.”
To get involved, and for more information, visit www.Good360.org or www.inda.org.
Nonwoven fabrics are used in a variety of consumer and industrial products that are needed by the people Good360 serves. Donations to Good360 can be made at any time, whether in the event of an emergency or in non-emergency times. Companies can donate when they have excess inventory, to reduce waste going to landfills or simply because they want to make a difference. Below is a list of priority product needs Good360 provided to INDA.
Hygiene Products (HIGH NEED CATEGOREY)
• Feminine hygiene
• Incontinence products
• Nursing pads
• Toddler training pants
Apparel (HIGH NEED CATEGORY)
• Gloves & glove liners
• Medical & surgical apparel
• Outerwear, sportswear & swimwear
• Protective clothing
• Underwear, bras
• Floor cleaning
• Household (dry, wet)
• Personal, cosmetic
• Baby bibs
• Coffee filters
• Cosmetic applicators & removers
• Envelopes, tags & labels
• Floor dusting cloths
• Laundry dryer sheets
• Reusable bags
• Vacuum cleaner, laundry & garment bags
Furnishings and Bedding
• Acoustic ceilings
• Bedding sheets
• Blankets, quilts, quilt covers, bedspreads, mattress covers
• Carpet backings
• Carpet under-paddings
• Floor coverings
• Ironing board pads
• Lamp shades
• Mats (bath, door, place)
• Pillows & pillowcases
• Pleated shades
• Wall coverings
• Window shades
• Roofing components
Medical and Healthcare Industries
• Surgical gowns
• Sterile packaging
• Sterile overwraps
• Surgical masks