Housing, Shelter

Household Goods Inc.

Helping People Make a Home

Acton, MA   |  https://householdgoods.org

Mission

Household Goods provides a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home.

Ruling year info

1999

Executive Director

Ms. Sharon Martens

Main address

530 Main Street

Acton, MA 01720 USA

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Formerly known as

Household Goods Recycling Ministry

Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts, Inc.

HGRM

EIN

04-3468139

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

People not only need a place to live, but they also need basic furniture and household items. They need beds and blankets to sleep in, a table to eat at and cookware to prepare meals. When people have a stable, adequately furnished home, social service agencies report that these families and individuals are much more responsive to interventions. Providing furniture and household essentials free of charge to individuals and families in need helps stretch their limited budgets. It would cost a family over $2,000 to furnish a small apartment with essential items purchased at Walmart. For people making minimum wage, saving this amount of money can be impossible. Minimum wage is $23,960 per year in Massachusetts. Yet, the 2019 average fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy metro area, for example, would consume most of that income $22,824 per year leaving very little for every day expenses.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Household Goods, Inc.

Household Goods is one program that benefits individuals and families, social service agencies, donors, volunteers and the environment. We accept donations of usable furniture and household items and redistribute them free of charge to individuals and families in need. The only eligibility requirement is need, as identified by a referring social service agency. Household Goods is an important resource for hundreds of social service organizations. Every year more than 300 agencies ask Household Goods to assist their clients. As one of the largest furniture banks in the region, Household Goods strengthens the efforts of these agencies to stabilize their clients' lives in ways no other entity in New England can match. Donors provide our entire inventory. Donations come in all sizes, from one set of towels to a tractor-trailer load of beds and furniture. In addition to individual donations, Household Goods has relationships with commercial donors. These large-volume donors help Household Goods maintain a more consistent inventory of essential household items throughout the year. At the heart of Household Goods' efficient operation are hundreds of volunteers who donate thousands of hours each year -- 40,000 hours each year. These resourceful and dedicated volunteers participate in all aspects of Household Goods' operations.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people
Veterans
Budget
$550,000

Where we work

Awards

Affiliations & memberships

Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter

Furniture Bank Association of North America

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of households furnished

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Household Goods, Inc.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of adults who received furniture

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Household Goods, Inc.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of adults that make up the households we furnished.

Number of children who received furniture

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Household Goods, Inc.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of children living in households we furnished.

Number of household items provided to people in need

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Household Goods, Inc.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of items includes the number of medium and large items (e.g, dresser, mattress, framed art) and the number of boxes of smaller items (dishes, pots and pans) and bags of sheets and towels.

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Household Goods, Inc.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Estimated dollar value of clothing and household goods donations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Household Goods, Inc.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Estimated dollar value of furniture and household items provided.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

Our goal is to provide basic, home furnishings to those who need but cannot afford them, so that they can live with dignity. We provide beds to sleep in, tables at which to eat, and cookware to make a meal. We work toward this goal by providing a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge to those who need them. This is critical because making a home is often the first step toward long-term stability. Our objectives include: 1. Having all essential items for each client to select on the date of their appointment. 2. Cultivating a steady donor and volunteer base by promoting community awareness of Household Goods. 3. Seeking opportunities for large-volume acquisitions of goods. 4. Ensuring adequate volunteer staffing for all aspects of the operation.

Household Goods helps people with limited means who need but cannot afford basic furniture and household items, as identified by approximately 300 social service agencies. The people coming for help may be emerging from homelessness, veterans, immigrants or refugees, families struggling to get by on minimum wage, victims of natural disaster or fire, those fleeing domestic violence, and others. Household Goods has specific hours set aside to accommodate the alternating processes of receiving and redistributing donated goods. During receiving shifts, volunteers pick up donations from residential and organizational donors. Other donors bring their items to Household Goods where volunteers gratefully accept and process them. During hours set aside for client visits, Household Goods welcomes clients and helps each one select the items they need. Everything someone needs to set up a home is available: beds, sofas, tables, chairs, dressers, dishes, sheets, blankets, towels. Clients arrive with a rented or borrowed truck and a list of needed items. They are paired with a Household Goods volunteer who helps them select their items. The biggest challenge that Household Goods has is to match the timing of the donation of goods to the demand from our clients. Donations of goods spike in spring and summer and plummet sharply in winter. Because clients come seven days a week all year long, Household Goods must maintain adequate inventory on site to provide essential items to all clients on the date of their appointment. The fluctuation of donations requires that we take advantage of large donations of essential items from hotels, universities and other organization as they become available. This requires renting tractor trailers, paying for delivery and relocation of the trailers and additional onsite storage pods. It also requires us to maintain two box trucks to pick up donations either from local residents or from commercial organizations, such as furniture stores with excess inventory or hotels that are replacing beds.

Household Goods relies on collaboration with a broad range of organizations, businesses and individuals. • We collaborate with over 300 social service agencies across Massachusetts to identify and connect with people in need of our services. Without Household Goods, many of these agencies’ clients would have housing, but would not have the basic items that make a home. • We collaborate with Boston College to collect usable household items from students as they move out at the end of the academic year. Household Goods collects approximately 6,000 usable items in the annual two-week move-out period. • We have ongoing relationships with other universities, moving companies, furniture retailers, clean-out companies, hotel operators, and others who donate usable furniture and other household items. • We customize group volunteer opportunities for faith communities, corporations, and service organizations who want to volunteer as a group for a worthy cause. These organizations also hold collection drives for usable items needed to help people make a home. • Household Goods actively works with schools and programs supporting people with disabilities to create successful and productive volunteer opportunities. • Household Goods offers volunteer opportunities for those completing court-ordered community service.

Household Goods measures success by the number of clients served, number of goods distributed, and number of volunteer hours contributed. Since detailed record-keeping began in 2004, Household Goods has helped over 120,000 people from 42,600 households rebuild their lives. We have provided, at no charge to the client or agency that referred them, over 630,000 essential household items such as beds, tables, chairs, sheets, towels, and kitchenware. Our team of 900 volunteers includes many who have helped advance our mission for 10 years or more. Additionally, Household Goods strives to provide these services as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. The best measure of our efficiency is the amount per client needed to fund our operations, which at $200 per client is far less than it would cost a client to purchase the items they are receiving. By maintaining a small staff and focusing on sound financial management, Household Goods has remained fiscally stable throughout periods of rapid growth. The most important evaluation is the look on the faces of our clients when they have finished their visit with us. It is at that point that the mission of Household Goods comes to life. All the volunteer hours and donations come down to these moments. As a recent client said: “Thank you for giving families in need an opportunity to be able to furnish their homes; Many like mine are veterans and are often ashamed at the fact that they have let their families down. Household Goods has filled our home and hearts and we thank you for this wonderful place."

Household Goods began in 1990 when Barbara and Ira Smith offered to help a Salvadoran refugee who fled her country with her children and little else. The Smiths posted a notice asking for usable household items for the family and offered their carport as a collection point. They were overwhelmed by the response from people who were happy to give away gently used furniture and household items. The Smiths soon became aware there were many more families in the region who could not afford basic household essentials. They began appealing to surrounding communities for donated goods, which they used to help one family at a time furnish a home and begin new lives. Since detailed record-keeping began in 2004, Household Goods has helped over 120,000 people from 42,600 households rebuild their lives. We have provided, at no charge to the client or agency that referred them, over 630,000 essential household items such as beds, tables, chairs, sheets, towels, and kitchenware. Our team of 900 volunteers includes many who have helped advance our mission for 10 years or more. For the past 29 years, Household Goods' reputation as an efficient and cost-effective source of support for families in need has continued to grow. Challenging economic conditions, a highly competitive housing market and the gap between wages and the cost of living confirm the ongoing need for Household Goods' services. Since founders Barbara and Ira Smith helped their first client, Household Goods has grown to serve 2,500 households each year. With generous financial support of individual donors, local businesses, fundraising events and charitable foundations, Household Goods is able to serve these households, and the agencies that represent them, without charging a fee.

Financials

Household Goods Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Household Goods Inc.

Board of directors
as of 7/31/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Barbara Howland

Mimi Rutledge

Community Volunteer

Philip vanderWilden

Crawford Idema Foundation

Priscilla Gannon

Community Volunteer

Mary Basset

McWalter, Barron & Boisvert

John Fallon

Community Volunteer

Robert Goddard

Community Volunteer

Beth Kubacki

Community Volunteer

Sharon Martens

Household Goods, Inc.

Michael Smith

Community Volunteer

Sally Savelle

Community Volunteer

Mike Broderick

Community Volunteer

Mike Coutu

Sudbury Design Group

Barbara Howland

Community Volunteer

Audrey Treischman

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Keywords

Household Goods Furniture Donation