Helping the Community with a "For Profit" Mindset

One of our biggest projects for our client this year, Foothill Family Shelter, was to increase its revenue through a financial analysis project. While this is not a typical nonprofit goal, our client owns a thrift store as a source of increased funds for their organization, so a “for profit” approach to a project seemed appropriate. After learning about the business model and their current sales, we decided the most effective way to approach this project was to analyze their past sales and develop an easy-to-use Excel model that would provide quantitative information to help them continue refining their marketing strategies.

We started by collecting several months of data on daily sales and developed  graphs to look for trends in total sales as well as the sales in different categories. By visually and statistically demonstrating the variation of their sales over a period of time, through graphs and category percentages, we were able to pinpoint their most profitable sale categories and observe how different events affected both their total and categorical sales.

After developing this analysis, we decided to create an Excel model so that our client could continue to track and understand their sales without our assistance. This second stage of the project gave us the opportunity to design a template where our client would type in their total sales at the end of the week and the program produces a series of cumulative graphs that demonstrate trends in their sales per each category. This allowed our clients to visually see the variations in sales and it created a cohesive space that stores all of their sale information. This template also includes a section to include their “Sale of the Week” so that they can cross reference any peak or dip in a category’s total week revenue with the associated sale that week, allowing them to discover which of their sales are most and least effective.

While this project is not a typical nonprofit project it still yields positive impact for the community. This goes to show that nonprofits can utilize traditional business tools to help improve their efficiency and impact.

Check out Foothill Family Thrift Store at 1250 W Foothill Blvd, Upland, CA 91786 for great new items!

by megan tankersley