How We Do What We Do
The Furniture Bank of Central Ohio is an amazing community project that harnesses the support and involvement of local organizations and individuals to "turn empty houses into homes."
FREE Pickup . . . FREE Hand Up.
We provide FREE pickup of gently-used furniture from individuals and organizations, and we provide that donated furniture for FREE to families and individuals struggling financially to furnish their own homes. All the furniture is either donated by central Ohio residents or organizations, or built at the Furniture Bank by volunteers with quality methods, from donated materials. It's a win-win situation for the entire community - families helping families.
Social Service Partnerships.
Families and individuals in need connect with the Furniture Bank to get FREE furniture via appointments scheduled through their case managers. A wide variety of central Ohio social service agencies refer families to the Furniture Bank to get free furniture, or a sponsor such as their church, employer, school, civic organization, etc. can also refer them.
A referring agency pays an administrative fee of $45-$70 for each referral, and the Furniture Bank raises the remainder of the $250 it costs on average to give a family 13-15 pieces of furniture. Those 13-15 pieces of furniture are conservatively valued over $500, and would be worth $2,000 - $3,000 if new. Hence, we are helping our partner agencies leverage $40-$60 into 13-15 pieces of furniture for their clients.
Choice, Dignity, Respect.
Each family / individual picks out their own furniture (13-15 pieces), guided by their case manager and our staff. They either take the furniture with them in their own truck, or have the furniture delivered to their home on the same day by the Furniture Bank staff. We work hard to make sure every client gets 94%-95% of the key furniture items they need for their home.
We are the 2nd largest member of the Furniture Bank Association of North America, and participate in its leadership team. In calendar 2012, we will serve more than 4,400 families consisting of over 12,000 individuals, including more than 6,600 children. We will pick up and distribute more than 57,000 pieces of gently used furniture, and give each family an average of 13-15 pieces of furniture.
We take stewardship of donor dollars seriously, and 100% of every donor dollar goes directly to program services. In addition, our fee for service and social enterprise income constitutes 40% of our annual cash funding, and cover all of our administrative and overhead costs.
Click here for more details on our service to families in need in the past 12 months.
Because the demand for furniture is so great, the Furniture Bank is committed to developing programs that advance its financial self-sustainability. We're generating a growing portion our own funding using a business entrepreneurship model. To date we are doing this with the following programs/services:
- Agency Referral fees - Cost-sharing of 20-25% of our costs by referring agencies and sponsors
- Delivery Service fees - Same-day delivery of furniture to client homes (usually 3 to 4 hours) at below-market rates
- Furniture Auctions - Semi-annual public auctions of donated furniture not well suited for client homes and high-value donated furniture. We only auction 2-3% of all furniture donations
In 2010, this self-funding was about 40% of our annual budget, which was sufficient to pay all our administrative and overhead costs. As a result, 100% of every donor dollar goes directly to help struggling families.
We are currently developing a business plan for Mattress Recycling in Franklin County in 2011. The Furniture Bank received a grant from the Columbus Foundation to develop this business plan and show how a mattress recycling program may help generate revenue and boost bulk mattress donations for families in need.
Inquire here to partner with us in our new and creative efforts to create funding to turn more empty houses into homes.