While unwanted donations are a perennial problem for many charities, Friends With Dignity is unlocking the value of unneeded donated goods to provide useful services.

Domestic violence support service Friends With Dignity is partnering with Bartercard Australia to trade its unusable or excess donated goods in exchange for business services that will assist the survivors of domestic violence.

Programs run by the national volunteer-based charity include Urgent Requests, which covers the once-off needs of people in who have recently left their homes (such as cots and toiletries). Another program, called Little Friends,  provides books and uniforms to the children of survivors.

Unfortunately, as is often the case at nonprofits, some well-meaning supporters donate goods that are either unnecessary or in excess of requirements.

Under the new partnership, Bartercard is selling these unneeded donated goods through its South Gold Coast office in exchange for credits on its platform (known as ‘trade dollars’), which Friends With Dignity can use to redeem services from businesses.

Friends With Dignity will use the trade dollars to secure a range of expensive services for clients that would otherwise need to be purchased with cash, such as garden maintenance, storage, transport, furniture removal and other professional services.

Over 20 palettes of excess stock has been delivered to Bartercard to date under the arrangement to date.

Additionally, the arrangement provides Friends With Dignity with increased awareness and networking opportunities in the business community, as well as support from Bartercard’s One Light Charity Foundation at major events, as the charity continues its national expansion.

Friends With Dignity chief operating officer and director Zoe Scharenguivel says the partnership is designed to expand the charity support in the general community and connect with local businesses.

“The results so far have been amazing with generous Bartercard members donating trade dollars to our organisation,” Scharenguivel says.

“This has provided a significant opportunity to decrease our cash expenses by securing services on trade dollars.

“Friends With Dignity is run entirely by volunteers so it is essential people learning about who we are and the work that we do. This is how we operate and we couldn’t do it without the support of our community.”

Friends With Dignity was founded in 2015 by former Assist A Sista director Manuela Whitford, and provides a range of practical programs to assist people who are displaced due to domestic violence in partnership with refuge and crisis centres.


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