Manatee County Habitat for Humanity ReStore Credits Margin & Mission Ignition for Helping to Reach 3 Million Dollars in Revenue and 600,000 Dollars to Support Home Building

Manatee County Habitat for Humanity ReStore Credits Margin & Mission Ignition for Helping to Reach 3 Million Dollars in Revenue and 600,000 Dollars to Support Home Building

Posted on June 06, 2023 by Larry Clark, Managing Partner and Principal, No Margin, No Mission™
Editor’s Note: Larry Clark is a Managing Partner and Principal at No Margin, No Mission, a national consulting firm that helps nonprofits become stronger and more thrivable through earned income and social enterprise. Learn more about The Patterson Foundation’s Nonprofit Thrivability initiative here.

Manatee County Habitat for Humanity (MCHFH) is a role model for success among 1,400 Habitat for Humanity affiliates nationwide and more than 70 globally. They’ve provided services to greater Manatee County for over 27 years, serving hundreds of families by providing them with homes to raise their families and thrive.

A significant part of their success can be attributed to the Manatee Habitat ReStore, a successful home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Most recently, the Manatee Habitat ReStore was recognized by Habitat for Humanity International for being in the top 10 ReStores nationwide AND number one in the State of Florida based on total revenue.

There are 4 overarching reasons why the MCHFH ReStore has been so successful:

They Developed a Thoughtful and Comprehensive Business Plan
Starting in 2018, MCHFH participated in Margin & Mission Ignition (MMI), The Patterson Foundation’s thrivability initiative that helps nonprofits boost revenue and mission impact through earned income and social enterprise. Working with consultant Larry Clark from No Margin, No Mission, they developed a comprehensive business plan to expand and grow their existing ReStore and take it to new heights. While their business plan was being developed, they also worked with fundraising consultant Sara Leonard from the Sara Leonard Group to plan for and participate in a Fast Pitch, MMI’s kinder, gentler version of Shark Tank, that ultimately generated $132,000 in growth capital and resulted in the team’s ability to fully implement the plan and bring it to life over three years.

They Have Strong Support from their Board, Donors, Volunteers, and Staff
Throughout business plan development and implementation, there was strong support from all MCHFH constituents. The CEO actively participated in every aspect of the initiative. A board member was engaged throughout the process, including the planning sessions, Fast Pitch, and implementation activities. Volunteers, who make up a large part of the MCHFH workforce, dedicated their time and talent to help ensure the success of the ReStore. Staff was fully engaged at all levels of the organization. Donors were updated throughout the process and stepped up when asked for growth capital.

They Have an Entrepreneurial Culture
When it comes to entrepreneurial spirit and culture, there’s no better person to lead the charge than Karen McElroy, Vice President of Retail Operations. As a seasoned retail professional with boundless enthusiasm, energy, business savvy, and passion for the mission of Manatee Habitat, she leads by example and sets the “can do, will do, must do” tone, attitude, and culture for her team.

Throughout their participation in Margin & Mission Ignition, they were creative problem solvers and were never afraid to take risks. At one point, they decided to create a secondary business for the ReStore by purchasing new merchandise at a discount and reselling it with a healthy markup. Karen and her team also made it a priority to create strong community partnerships for donation-gathering, with an emphasis on all types of building supplies.

They Believe in the Power of Marketing and Communications
MCHFH’s communication strategy and tactics for the ReStore are outstanding. They not only communicate using multiple forms of social media, but they also update “happenings” in the store daily. If the customers see or hear about something new, it drives traffic to the store. Their focus is not being slick with communication but speaking directly to their audience and sharing the excitement of their merchandise. The store’s tagline is “If you miss a day, you miss a deal.”

According to Roger Arnholt, MCHFH’s Board Treasurer, the Manatee ReStore attributes much of its success to the expansion plans that were initiated in 2018 with the organization’s participation in Margin & Mission Ignition. Thanks to the rigorous and disciplined process, dedicated involvement by team members from across the organization, and the incredible efforts of Store Manager Karen McElroy, the ReStore has seen its revenue nearly triple AND its net proceeds to support home building jump nearly six-fold.

MCHFH is a role model for other Habitat for Humanity affiliates nationwide, and the ReStore is an integral part of the MCHFH legacy.

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