Furniture Bank

Partner since: February 2015

“LIFT allowed the Board and management team to break mindsets and see scaling the social enterprise as not just possible, but inevitable. Today, we have local, regional, provincial and national partnerships and opportunities that will rapidly accelerate our scaled impact.”
Dan Kershaw, Executive Director

Furniture Bank plays a transformational role in ensuring all Canadians live with the dignity and stability of a furnished home. Based in Toronto, Furniture Bank collects gently used furniture from the community and transfers it to families transitioning out of homelessness or displacement. Furniture Bank’s clients include the formerly homeless, women and children escaping abusive situations, and newcomer families and refugees to Canada. Furniture Bank also operates Leg Up, a program providing work experience, life and skills training, and job opportunities to individuals facing barriers to employment.

Opportunity

With the support of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, Furniture Bank is able to strengthen its social enterprise to provide more training and employment opportunities which in turn, will help more households furnish their homes.

Plan

Optimize capacity for growth and, develop and execute a national expansion strategy.

Impact

  • Strengthened foundation: Completed an operations audit which identified new systems and processes to enhance efficiency, measurement and ability to scale up.
  • Organization can now serve 40% more clients per year with existing capacity
  • Supported a capital investment program to serve growth, including larger physical space, additional truck leases, and improved IT
  • Helped with recruitment of additional talent, boosting staff numbers by 44%
  • Executed on a national expansion plan with a second location in Ontario serving as a pilot
  • Created a public awareness campaign to increase profile among donors
  • In 2017, increased the number of clients served by 37%, compared to 2015
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