Sep112012

“Finally, something that was good for me and because they are a nonprofit, good for others.”

Zack Rosenberg
Zack Rosenberg
DoGoodBuyUs
Founder

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DoGoodBuyUs believes in making the world a better place in small, simple ways, every day. This led them to build the largest marketplace of charity manufactured products.

MO: How did you come up with the idea for DoGoodBuyUs?

Zack: The idea came to be during a trip to the grocery store with my son. 9 out of 10 times he gets the sugary cereals he loves but this day, I put my foot down. As I read the labels on the boxes I found over 90 ingredients but only 4 I had heard of.

The next box I picked up was a Paul Newman’s Own. In this box there was only 4 ingredients and I heard of all 4 of them. Finally, something that was good for me and because they are a nonprofit, good for others.

I knew I wasn’t the only conscious consumer out there. There had to be more. Now, you can find them all in one place, DoGoodBuyUs!

MO: Can you talk about the challenges and process of creating a network with over 80 organizations, selling more than 400 items?

Zack: The biggest challenges, as I am sure they are for everyone, was coming up with a model that both worked for every partner and a process to bring them on board easily.

At the very beginning, we probably had 30 different business arrangements with 30 different organizations. This simply just wouldn’t work at scale. So we took a hard look at what we liked and what had been working, only to realize that everything boiled down to 2 options. We all began to breathe a sigh of relief.

As for the process, it will always be a work in progress. Many of our competitors choose to automate this process but this just isn’t how our philosophy works. Is it reasonable to deliver the same level of service at 500 partners, we sure hope so!

If we were working with the Nike’s of the world who have teams of people dedicated to relationships like this, it would be okay. When our charities and NGO’s turn to us, it is because we have skills/expertise in areas they do not.

Our goal is always to put them first.

MO: How is DoGoodBuyUs making the world a better place in small, simple ways, every day?

Zack: Our nonprofit partner’s time is better spent making the world a better place and not thinking about contextual advertising, fulfillment and everything else that goes with retail.

DoGoodBuyUs helps them raise the necessary funds they need to keep their work going and helps them increase their awareness by reaching our socially conscious consumers. This takes a tremendous burden off their shoulders.

We are probably one of the few businesses who has a volunteer tab on its homepage as well. Our mission is important to us and we will achieve it however we can, lucrative or not.

MO: During your entrepreneurial journey, which milestone has been the most meaningful to you so far?

Zack: While there are many to choose from but never enough for my liking, the proudest is when we made our first full time hire. We had been able to survive with a number of part timers for a long time but, this was the first step to making a dream, reality.

Runners up would certainly the amount of partners and the number of people we have been able to help. Though that number is sometimes hard to quantify.

My hope is that in a year from now the answer is, donating over $250k to our partners. One can only hope!

MO: How did an early mistake actually help point you in the direction of success?

Zack: The best part about our early failures was that they happened on a small scale. We launched a product that we designed to friends and family, testing the waters of “charity made” products. We begged and yelled and begged some more but no one bought.

The feedback was, they weren’t interested in these products. We were befuddled but, the products were for a good cause. Right then we knew, people want a great product and the cause will put them over the edge.

Looking back it makes all the sense in the world to us then, it was game changing.

MO: If I could grant you one business related wish right now, what would you ask for?

Zack: Am I only allowed to ask for one? If so, I think the answer is simple, sustainability. Yes, a $500k grant would be extremely helpful and sure, having an audience of 1 million + overnight would be fantastic.

None of those are worth anything if we don’t stay true to our mission for the long haul. If I knew we would be a business owned by generation after generation, this would make me truly happy.

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