Art Restart’s Success Story April 07, 2016 11:56
50% of small businesses and social enterprises struggle to remain viable after their first year, yet Art Restart, the social enterprise of The Gathering Place, has grown over 61% since inception. Social enterprises are revolutionizing the way business is done and changing the way that nonprofit organizations approach sustainability. Moving beyond corporate social responsibility and community initiatives, social enterprises work with and for the community to address a common need, answer a problem, and create a stable funding stream for nonprofit organizations.
In the case of The Gathering Place TGP, we approached the creation of Art Restart as a social enterprise to help provide our members with opportunities, to stimulate attitude change in the community about homelessness, and to establish mission-supporting income from bulk greeting cards sales.
Art Restart Objectives and Outcomes:
- Goal: Build gross revenues of $55,000 by second year of operation.
- Outcome: Generated $70,000 in gross revenue in second year of operation.
- Goal: Enable an online eCommerce platform (fulfillment, catalog of designs, bulk orders).
- Outcome: Launched new website September 2015 with robust eCommerce platform, online fulfillment, full catalog of customizable designs, and bulk ordering availability.
- Goal: Help members gain self-confidence and self-sufficiency.
- Outcome: Participating artists not only earned income (five of our artists earned royalties exceeding $400 each), they also learned how to make commercially viable artwork.
- Goal: Facilitate an alternative means for businesses to support the organization through marketing budgets.
- Outcome: In less than two years, more than 60 businesses, individuals, and organizations have purchased cards from Art Restart.
- Goal: Leverage TGPs assets (business relationships, talent of members, community reputation).
- Outcome: Many of the organization’s stakeholders supported Art Restart - additionally, many new clients that had never previously supported TGP became donors, volunteers, or purchased tickets for fundraising events.
Art Restart, now going into its third year of operation, is a creative way for businesses to demonstrate a commitment to being socially responsible while directly helping women in need.
 The Limits of Social Enterprise: a Field Study and Case Analysis. Seedco Policy Center. June 2007. http://seedco.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/The-Limits-of-Social-Enterprise.pdf