With a pandemic sweeping the globe and lockdowns in place across the world, charities were among the hardest hit by Covid-19 as shops closed, events were cancelled and sponsorship challenges halted. It meant charities had to rethink how they generated income in order to survive.
While their shops have been closed across Swindon and north east Wiltshire, the retail team at Prospect Hospice has also been looking at alternative ways to raise vital funds.
Victoria Canavan, head of retail at Prospect Hospice, explained, “While our income streams virtually dried up overnight, we were still caring for our patients and that costs money so we knew we had to look at new ways to raise funds even though we couldn’t open our shops. With many people switching to online shopping to minimise their time outside of home, we saw there was an opportunity for us.
“With our shop doors closed, items that had been generously donated to us were gathering dust on the shelves but we knew people would still be interested in them – if they could buy them online and have them delivered to their doors. So we set about finding the items we thought people would be most interested in purchasing and we’ve set up our own eBay store to sell these and generate vital funds for the hospice.”
Donations into the hospice vary and with eBay appealing to all kinds of shoppers, it was the ideal place to open an online store. With a varied inventory of items for sale, the charity knows there will be a wider market for these beyond its shop walls and placing these items for sale online gives the hospice the opportunity to raise even more from the donated goods to them.
Genette Fowler, who manages the hospice eBay store, added, “Lockdown has given us the chance to look at some of the items we’ve been generously donated and assess whether there’s a wider market for them to help us raise even more for the hospice. I then speak to experts about how much we think a reasonable price would be for the item and then list it to see if it gathers interest and, ultimately, result in a sale. We then package these up and deliver them to the customer meaning we’re able to raise funds and our customers don’t need to leave the comfort of their own home to support us.
“We also have a wide range of items online suitable for all kinds of needs and budgets so I’d encourage everyone to take a look at see what we’ve got. And the beauty of eBay is that, if no one else is interested on that day, you could grab an absolute bargain!”
To view the items that Prospect Hospice has up for auction, ‘make me an offer’ or ‘buy it now’, visit www.prospect-hospice.net/ebay.