Product philanthropy nonprofit Good360 is launching Regional Operating Centers (ROCs) for in-kind donation distribution. The intention is to bolster network capacity to receive product donations in large and frequent volumes and disseminate them based on need.
Funded by Good360 via a $1 million grant from Walmart, two new ROCs will open this fall, serving the Baltimore, Md., and Nashville, Tenn., regions. The ROCs will expand the collective impact of the Good360 network by distributing needed goods locally, regionally and nationally, all in a way that is sustainable for Good360, the ROC and the recipient nonprofit network, according to the organization.
The ROCs are an evolution and extension of Good360’s strategy of building a network of nonprofit partners that can support the redistribution of donated goods to help those facing challenging life circumstances as well as those recovering from the effects of natural disasters.
The $1 million grant from Walmart “helps us build additional capabilities and increase our footprint of giving,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360. “We are proud to make this investment to help our nonprofit partners develop sustainable operating models, and to help broaden the impact that our donors can make. With two new ROCs opening, we are now even closer to the major milestone of $10 billion in total goods distributed to those in need.”
The Nashville ROC is managed by the Goodness Project, a longstanding Good360 nonprofit partner serving hundreds of nonprofits. The Goodness Project distributes a wide variety of items, has warehouses serving Fort Worth, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; and most recently, Nashville, Tenn.
“Acting as a Good360 ROC provides us with the additional support and resources we need to expand our impact, especially as we move into a new region of the country. Sustainable growth in the nonprofit space can be a challenge, and Good360 has offered an additional path for us,” said Bill Fletcher, CEO of the Goodness Project.
The Baltimore ROC is managed by Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas, one of 30 Volunteers of America affiliates in the U.S. VOA runs 48 programs within the Maryland, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina, and Commonwealth of Virginia communities.
Connelly said that additions ROCs are planned, with Phoenix, Ariz., at the top of the list. ROCs are also planned for the Pacific Northwest and the southeast U.S.
The organization has warehouse operations in several locations which several years ago were consolidated into Omaha, Neb. With so much commerce begin transacted online, the returns of product is expensive for the retailers, especially from a transportation standpoint, Connelly explained. IN some cases it is just less expensive to donate the items.
The plan is to have locations throughout the country when the supply chain is reversed so that logistics allow for the accumulation of items into distribution centers and then working with vetted nonprofits in those areas to get product to those who need them.