In the latter part of 2004, the leadership teams of five nonprofit charitable agencies that operate thrift and resale shops in western Pennsylvania formed a unique partnership to determine how the organizations could work collaboratively to build upon the popularity of the resale industry, and the need to educate the public about responsible giving practices. The result is the Alliance of Nonprofit Stores, which is now comprised of eleven agencies. This group shares a common goal of giving back to the communities that are home to their retail locations. The following statements further define this partnership.
- The proceeds generated from sales at ANS partner locations are used for charitable purposes.
ANS distinguishes itself from for-profit thrift and resale shops by guaranteeing that revenue from sales of donated goods are used to benefit local community programs.
- Collaboration, not competition, is the focus of ANS.
ANS combines resources with like-minded organizations dedicated to supporting local charitable giving to enhance quality of life in our region.
- Shopping at ANS locations benefits each community it serves.
When a sale is made at an ANS partner location, the benefit is felt by those living in the community the partner assists.
- ANS partners accept gently-used items.
Partner retail operations located throughout Pittsburgh accept gently-used items such as clothing, furniture, small appliances, books, toys, vehicles and boats. A simple rule is, “if an item cannot be used, it should not be donated.” When damaged items are dumped at ANS partner locations, it ends up costing the nonprofit money to have it properly removed.
- Donations to ANS organizations help foster a clean environment.
Shopping at ANS locations also benefits the long-term health and vitality of each community it serves by helping to foster a cleaner environment. Donating unwanted or unneeded items and using recycled items helps to reduce the amount of municipal waste sent to landfills.
- ANS locations are complete community resources.
Each community served by an ANS retail operation benefits not only from the economic impact of revenue generated, but also via the employment, job training and vouchers that the stores provide. Donors may also enjoy tax deductions.
- ANS promotes sustainability and self-sufficiency for each location.
A goal of each ANS member organization is to help communities help themselves. ANS partners promote responsible use of public dollars and further support communities through employment and job training programs.