Open for a little more than 5 years, The Fabulous Find in Kittery has turned donated designer clothing and home décor into a fundraising juggernaut. With its latest monthly donation—more than $7,200 each to New Heights and the NH Theatre Project—The Fabulous Find has given away $774,983 to local nonprofits.
“We were started by a few women who had an idea for a different type of resale shop—something above the typical thrift shop, but not quite a consignment shop,” said Marcye Philbrook, board president and one of several founders. “We also resolved to beautifully display the merchandise and shoot for a better quality of item.”
The idea has worked, according to New Heights’ Janice Hastings, who said the entire staff was “shocked” when they received the check.
“We really could not believe it,” she said. “A dollar amount like that goes a long way toward meeting the needs of Seacoast youth.”
Founded in 1987, New Heights has evolved through the years as an organization in which youth primarily “hung out” in a teen center to one where they currently engage in workshops and programs that complement school curricula.
“New Heights provides a place where 5th through 12graders can discover, push themselves, and learn essential skills—communication, team-building, and problem solving,” Hastings added. “Our school year and summer programs are exceptional.”
As for how The Fabulous Find has been able to make such an impact, Philbrook cited the help of many volunteers as well as to how they built their business model.
“We partner with these non-profits in such a way that they do the marketing and promotion of their month to raise our sales and donations of goods—and hence, their profits,” she explained. “This keeps our costs low and gets great participation from our partnering non-profits.”
According to Philbrook, they give to many types of 501c3 non-profits in many industries, including environmental, educational, history, health, women, children, seniors, veterans, the arts, animals, food pantries, fuel assistance programs and others.
In looking to the future, she said she hopes to continue to spread the word to people who may not know about The Fabulous Find and to also encourage individuals to give back to the community. As far as Hastings is concerned, The Fabulous Find has emerged as one of the most important philanthropic leaders on the Seacoast.
“In a short time, they have made an incredible difference,” she said. “They make giving back fun and meaningful—I’m not sure there is a better business formula out there.”
To learn more about The Fabulous Find, visit www.thefabulousfind.org.