We live in an age when environmental and social sustainability matters more than ever. Around the world, we are seeing a growing awareness of the impact our decisions have beyond our personal bubbles. This is translating particularly into shifting trends in the decisions people make with their wallets. A recent Nielson Poll shows that millennials are more likely than past generations to say that sustainability and social impact are important when considering a purchase. Three out of four respondents to the poll said they would pay more to buy from a company that was making a positive impact in the world.
This trend is encouraging responsible businesses to find ways to give back to their communities, and to organizations that can utilize the support to better carry out their missions. According to The National Philanthropic Trust, corporate giving rose 3.5% to $18.55 billion in 2016 from 2015.
For years, Community Warehouse has partnered with local businesses to bring household goods to those in need. As a way of recognizing these partners for all they have given back to our community, Community Warehouse recently launched its Furnishing Forward Program. Companies that want to create a sustaining donation to Community Warehouse, or already are continuous donors, will now be listed as Furnishing Forward partners, celebrated on our social media, and provided posters and annual window decals so that customers recognize their contributions.
Folks from Furnishing Forward partner Seams To Fit Home asked Community Warehouse Procurement and Enterprise director, Randy Lucas, “can you tell if our donations are making a difference?” This was a question he had never been asked before – but already knew the answer. “YES!” Furnishing Forward partners like Seams To Fit Home have an impact on our mission measuring thousands of dollars in value. The team at Seams To Fit were so happy to hear their contributions really make a difference. Owner Sherry explains, “We are honored to be local partners with Community Warehouse. As contributors to their Furnishing Forward program for the past five years, we have seen the impact they make in our community by supporting our neighbors in need. Our consignors and customers are proud to give back to the community through Seams to Fit Home.”
Their commitment to helping our community is exactly what Furnishing Forward hopes to recognize and celebrate.
Community Warehouse knows that there is no “one size fits all” partnership for local businesses. Each business is uniquely empowered to make a difference in ways that highlight the character of the company and where they fit into our community. For example, you may remember from our last blog post, that BedMart donated 30 plus mattresses to Central City Concern’s new low income housing property, a donation facilitated by Community Warehouse.
Mattress Lot is another company that helps furnish the bedrooms of countless neighbors in need. We could not begin to count the times Mattress Lot has saved us from a mattress drought, rolling up with a truck full of high quality mattresses just in time to make waiting families laugh with joy and relief.
Furnishing Forward offers Community Warehouse a greater platform to celebrate not just the big donations, but the day-to-day contributions from these stalwart businesses that keep your local furniture bank running.
One can see that various community partners contribute in different ways. What ties these donors together is their lasting commitment to creating a sustained impact in our community. With the Furnishing Forward Program, Community Warehouse seeks to recognize and spread the word about the great level of commitment that already exists in the Portland area, in the hopes that others will be inspired to do the same.
As consumer interest in business accountability and sustainability continues to grow, reputations for giving back, like our Furnishing Forward partners, will only help businesses grow and foster trust and respect between vendors and the public.
One day, Furnishing Forward logos could be as ubiquitous as a Yelp sticker, a small badge of recognition in the window, signaling to customers that this is a business that gets it.
To visit our Furnishing Forward page please click here.