Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver Uses Online Booking for 100% of Donations

  • December 31, 2018
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The Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver affiliate switched to online booking with Vonigo two years ago. Since then their inventory has increased by 145%. This article by Andree Nash, Volunteer & Event Manager of Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver, explains how they did it.

20 Years of Habitat for Humanity in Vancouver

Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver (HFHGV), an affiliate, was established in 1995 and services Langley to Squamish in British Columbia, Canada. In 1999, HFHGV purchased an acre of land from the BC provincial government in Burnaby, where a 27-unit townhome community was built over six phases. The final six families moved into their homes in July 2013.

To date, safe, decent and affordable housing has been provided for 31 Greater Vancouver families including 45 children. Our next build site in Richmond is underway, where we will house another 12 families. All homes are built by volunteers under the direction of a site supervisor and funded by individual donations, grants, and corporate sponsorships.

Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver is one of 58 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across Canada and among more than 3000 affiliates around the world.

Andree Nash demonstrates how Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver uses Vonigo for donation pick-ups.

About Habitat for Humanity

Established in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada has built over 2,500 homes nationwide. This is thanks to more than 300,000 volunteers, who have logged over 11 million hours on build sites.

Habitat for Humanity International began in Americus, Georgia in 1976 through the passionate efforts of Linda and Millard Fuller. Their goal was simple: to provide access to safe and decent housing for everyone, and have people from all walks of life come together to make this vision come true. In 1984, former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took part in their first ever Habitat build, putting the organization on the map.

Every year since the Carters take on a new build site. Through their commitment and the help of many others, Habitat has built 800,000 houses in over 100 countries around the world, providing more than 4 million people with safe, decent and affordable shelter.

habitat for humanity donations

A Mission to Build Homes for Deserving Families

Possibly my favorite part about Habitat for Humanity (and this is unique to us) is that we have a social enterprise that funds 100% of Habitat’s operations and the building of homes for hardworking families. This means that all donations to our build site are used for construction and not overhead.

Because our ReStores operate on donations, inventory is ever-changing and never guaranteed.

How Habitat for Humanity ReStores Work

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a home décor and building supply store that sells new and gently-used items for your home and garden. From lighting to your bedside antique table, flooring and everything in between, the ReStore sells great products at up to 80% off retail prices.

Our inventory comes from kind donations by local corporate donors and individuals from our communities.

Ongoing Building Projects in Greater Vancouver

We are currently building six single-family homes with secondary suites supporting 12 families in Richmond with projects in Mission for 19 units and 40-50 units in Coquitlam to follow!

We are also entering the Langley market with a new ReStore that opened in July. In November we opened an online ReStore. We supply all of these stores with three trucks, picking up new and used donations from the area.

Non-profit Donation Software Plays a Key Role in Operations

We use Vonigo to handle all of our pickups, meaning we have a complete record of our donations, which saves a lot of time. Donor reporting indicates who donated what, when and any contact details. The online scheduling platform eliminates phone calls and emails and helps our donor experience. Donors can self-book, which is immensely helpful, as we have limited resources.

All of our locations are able to use Vonigo to know what is coming in on the trucks and monitor donations. It has allowed corporate donors to have personalized services while private donors can use self-serve booking.

The Results Since Switching to Online Booking

We are now able to track a donation’s value. In two years (2016-2017) our inventory increased by 145%. In those same two years, the average value of each work order has increased by 74%.

Number of Work Orders
2016 = 2801
2017 = 3744
2018 = 3945

Looking Forward to the Future

Our goals are to increase value and quality in commercial donations and to include online payment for private pickups. We also look forward to welcoming new families into our developments in Richmond, Mission, and Coquitlam.

Andree Nash is Volunteer & Event Manager of Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver.

Non-Profit Donation Software

Interested to learn more about how non-profit donation software can help your charity or retail store thrive using online booking and scheduling? Book a free, private demo of Vonigo.