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FAQ for volunteers

Thank You For Your Interest

Below are some common questions (and answers!) about volunteering at the Goods Bank.  If your question is not answered here, or if you need more information, please email us at info@goodsbankneo.org

What are typical volunteer tasks?

We appreciate the help of our dedicated volunteers. They help us to help nonprofits make a greater impact in the community. Typical tasks might include:

  • Unpacking and sorting product
  • Testing and/or assembling product
  • Stickering product
  • Stocking or organizing product
  • Updating bar codes
  • Assisting shoppers
  • Cashing out shoppers
  • Photographing product for inventory
  • Giving away product
Can I help assemble, test and evaluate product?

Yes. One of the most fun volunteer tasks is to work at the tinker table. We will test and assemble product that need to be checked. We want everything that goes out or door to be in working order.

How do I sign up to volunteer?

Sign up is easy. Click here.

Can I cancel my shift?

Yes, but try not to and let us know as far in advance as possible to ensure we have enough available hands to assist our nonprofit members.

Do I need to volunteer regularly?

No. That’s what makes this a great volunteer opportunity. Just 2 hours of your time helps ensure we can keep our overhead low and save nonprofits money. However, you are welcome to volunteer regularly.

How long are volunteer shifts?

Shifts are typically 2 or 4 hours long.

Is parking available?

Yes. Parking is next to our warehouse in front of the loading docks. If additional parking is needed, we have access to underground parking.

What should I wear?

It’s a warehouse and as clean as we make it, it’ll never be spotless. Wear older clothes. Dress in layers and definitely wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. You might do a lot of walking.

Is the warehouse heated?

Yes, but we encourage you to dress in layers to ensure you are comfortable. Be sure to wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes, even in the summer.

Do you ever have special projects?

Yes. Since we are new, it’s hard to imagine all that will be possible. We hope to hand out product at events and you could help. In time, we’d like to offer nonprofits personal shoppers to help them choose exactly what their clients need and want. Volunteers might help with outreach when we anticipate a large shipment of a specific product. As we grow, the volunteer opportunities also will grow.

Can I do any tasks sitting down?

Probably, but we’re new at this. Let us know ahead of time so we can plan for your visit. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Is the warehouse wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the warehouse is wheelchair accessible. However, the bathroom is not ADA compliant.

FAQ for members

Thank You For Your Interest

Below are some common questions (and answers!) about joining the Goods Bank. If your question is not answered here, or if you need more information, please email us at info@goodsbankneo.org

How does it work?

GBNEO works with and supports nonprofits, schools and faith organizations throughout northeast Ohio. The program helps these partners obtain the supplies they need to run their programs and meet the needs of the people they serve. Because of generous corporate donations, GBNEO is able to maximize nonprofits’ limited funding by providing resources at nominal handling fees. All fees go toward administrative costs and maintenance of our warehouse.

Who can join?

Membership – You must be a registered 501(c)(3) with a verified EIN Number, school or faith-based organization in existence for at least 2 years. You must have 2 staff and a business location. Once registered, you may authorize up to 5 shoppers.

What items are available?

Inventory always changes and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Most items are brand new, or new items that have been returned. Electronics are tested to be sure they are in good working condition. Many items have damaged boxes however, the items are perfectly fine.  Merchandise can include housewares, clothes, office/school supplies, toiletries, toys, baby supplies and more.

Is there a membership fee?

There is an Annual Membership fee of $100 for non-profit agencies, schools and faith-based groups. Nonprofits apply for membership and these memberships are renewed annually.

Who can shop?

Each member organization can designate up to 5 authorized shoppers. If shopping with a client, please limit the number of clients to 2. The member organization is responsible for managing its client’s shopping experience.

How does the shopping process work?
  1. Approved shoppers sign in upon arrival.
  2. First-time shoppers receive a tour.
  3. Once checked in, shoppers can grab a cart and shop the clearly marked product display areas.
  4. Items are priced with stickers and/or signage.
  5. A staff person and/or volunteer will assist with check out.
  6. Items are scanned as at any other store; they will be boxed or bagged with your assistance.
  7. Payment in full is required at checkout; we accept credit or debit cards or organizational check. Personal checks or cash are not accepted.
  8. Shoppers will receive and sign a receipt confirming they understand proper product distribution.
  9. A copy of the receipt is emailed to the nonprofit organization.

Product pick-up options:

  1. We encourage shoppers to take their items with them whenever possible. If necessary, we can hold them for two days.
  2. To carry out items, borrow our shopping cart to load your vehicle parked in the lot. Please remember to return the cart.
  3. Arrange to pull up outside our door or into our indoor loading area to pack your vehicle.
Do I need an appointment?

Yes, please.  To ensure you get top service, please follow this link to set up a time to shop.  Hours and slots will be expanded over time.

What forms of payment are accepted?

We accept credit cards, debit cards or organization checks.

What are your hours?

The warehouse generally is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. Shopping hours will be set by appointment.

Will I get help loading my car?

We will assist when possible, but please don’t count on us. You might want to bring extra hands.

Can I leave items for pick up at a later date?

Yes, we will store purchased items for two days.

Do you accept returns?

No.

Can I request a particular item?

Our goal is to meet your needs. Please let us know what would be useful.  In time, we may be able to facilitate group purchases on items with high demand.

Why can’t I sell the items to fund programming or use it for a raffle?

Quite simply, it is not permitted by Good360, its corporate partners or our corporate donors.

How are prices determined?

All items are donated by manufacturers or retailers. Goods Bank NEO pays a shipping and handling fee to bring them to our warehouse. Our members simply help cover our costs. Items are priced as low as possible while still covering operating expenses.  Having more members and providing more product helps reduce our administrative fees, which translates to even lower prices for goods in the warehouse. As we grow, that means your funding goes even further and you can make a greater impact.

How will I know about new items?

We receive new items nearly every day. The best way to keep up with inventory is to visit often. Or, you can sign up to receive our text updates and e-blasts. You also can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Linked In.

How much new merchandise ends up in landfills and why?

More than 25 percent of returned items are thrown away. That amounts to 5 billion pounds of returned goods ending up in U.S. landfills every year![1] Sometimes it’s less expensive for companies to simply discard product than to repackage, re-inventory, store, resell and ship it out again. Also, the last thing they want is for their products to be sold at extremely reduced prices, which under-values and jeopardizes their brands. For many, donating to organizations such as ours is the best solution. It’s good for people, it’s good for companies and it’s good for the community.

[1] Source: Optoro Impact Report 2019; https://info.optoro.com/hubfs/Optoro%202019%20Impact%20Report.pdf