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Review for Waste to Charity Inc, venice, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I worked for Waste to Charity for over 4 years. This non profit is in a niche that most people don't know about, or understand. Its sort of like a Goodwill or Salvation army, not with retail outlets, but geared to industry and business rather then taking on peoples old clothes or furniture. Every year thousands of products and tons of materials become waste which would eventually end up in land fills. They may be out of date food items, obsolete, damaged, irregular or overstock inventories of any kind. Tools, clothing, computer parts, lighting fixtures, paint, you name it. Instead of paying to have these items thrown away, companies can donate this inventory to charity and write a percentage off the bottom line. Its a win- win - win situation that is good for American business, good for the charity receiving the items, and good for the American public as landfills (which are costly financially and environmentally) don't fill up, and the public, relief NGOs and faith based organizations have the chance to acquire items at substantially reduced cost. Many items are distributed to the poor and needy in this country and abroad because this tax incentive system is in place. This is recycling on a grand scale. "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Part of the reason obsolete inventories become trash is that managing them, storing them, and shipping them is more costly then what the items are worth. None the less SOME of these things still have value and usefulness. Some things are so damaged, old or undesirable that they really are trash. One has to be careful not to see fools gold instead of gold in order not to go bankrupt pedaling junk that can't be reused. Someone has to pay for the time and energy and costs associated with RE-placing these goods. This requires knowledge of a variety of markets, products, transportation systems, cultures, outlets, scams, business models, financing, tax law, salesmanship and partnership & negotiating skills, etc etc etc, plus a lot of savvy and a ton of drive, for oftentimes not much reward. Knowing you are doing good really helps to motivate you in taking on the challenges, plus there is the joy of learning so much, as every day brings on the need for knowledge of a different product. One of my duties at Waste to Charity was to find a home for these inventories. Since our activities included shipping and storing these goods, and warehousing, freight, rent, electricity, internet connections, etc not being free, there are the usual costs of doing business that must be covered by any organization, regardless of its tax status. Just because you are a charity, doesn't mean you get everything for free, or can afford to give away what you put money into, for free. Employees and CEOs of charities need to earn a living as well, to pay personal bills healthcare costs, their own rent, to school and raise their own children, fix cars, and to eat. Just like Goodwill, or the Red Cross, charities must get money to operate from somewhere. Each sells something. I sold some of the inventory we were donated, most of that money went back into the overhead I mentioned earlier. We were not driving around new cars and enjoying expensive vacations. It was challenging, rewarding work and with 5 employees we kept millions of pounds of what would otherwise be trash out of landfills and put it into the hands of those in need, or those in need of a bargain to maintain a small business. I'm so proud of what we were able to do on a skeleton budget and crew with hardly a cash donation received, from any one, any government, or business. We paid our own way with what we made from junk, never turning away possible donations without fully checking out if something was viable, or of interest to another org. My boss Jack Fitzgerald was tireless in his efforts, and by far under compensated for his role as CEO, IT technician, Head of Marketing, Head of Sales, being THE legal department, Chief operations Manager, and wearing the many many hats one must wear to operate a small business. I can't say enough about this organization, especially when you compare how much it accomplishes in comparison with its true "administrative" and operating costs, for this in the end is the true test of how much good a charity is doing, and how much "bang" for the "buck" you are getting when you donate cash or goods. The difference between what the charity puts out there for the good cause, and what it keeps for itself. With Waste to Charity you are making a good choice.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the application of its efforts

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

start a retail operation like Goodwill

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

learning every day, and knowing that I didn't slave away at someone else's corporate dream

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...


If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

really do a lot of good

Ways to make it better...

people had donated cash, but they didn't so we made it work anyway.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the economy

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Former staff & Found new users for obsolete inventory.