In the wake of a growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility, self-storage professionals across the U.S. are changing the world for the better through a remarkable initiative known as StorageGives. The organization aligns industry operators and vendors with a variety of nonprofits to make a positive impact within their communities. This unique partnership has proven that businesses can thrive while making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
Founded on the principle that companies “can do well while doing good,” StorageGives serves as a platform that allows facility operators to donate a portion of their auction proceeds to people in need. In addition, anyone who wishes to can make direct donations. This has helped countless charities and created opportunities for industry participants to contribute to causes that matter to them.
In the first half of 2023, StorageGives participants raised an impressive $303,000 to support various charities, more than doubling the previous year's contribution. In 2022, the initiative achieved its goal of providing more than 500,000 meals to people in need, and raised more than $150,000 for charities that sustain or revitalize life, including well-known organizations like Autism Speaks and Mission Feeding.
“We have nine life-giving charities that the money was distributed to throughout the year,” said StorageGives Founder Lonnie Bickford.
Autism Speaks is dedicated to advancing research, raising awareness and advocating for individuals with autism and their families, a cause supported by many in the self-storage industry. In fact, this complex developmental condition affects millions of people worldwide, making it close to the hearts of many.
The support given to this organization through StorageGives helps to fund research and provide valuable resources. Moreover, it demonstrates that businesses can be a force for good in their communities, regardless of their size. These acts of generosity not only help those in need but create a ripple effect, inspiring others to get involved. As more self-storage operators join this effort, the future holds the promise of even greater results for Autism Speaks and many other worthwhile foundations.
Mission Feeding is associated with “Feed The Hungry,” which focuses on providing meals and nutritional support to children and families in impoverished and crisis-stricken regions around the world. Its primary goal is to address the issue of hunger and malnutrition in impoverished areas, particularly parts of Africa.
“For every $100 donation, 10 children are fed for three months,” Bickford says. “As you can see, every donation, big or small, helps. Our goal is to feed 1 million children this year, and together we can make a significant impact.”
Mission Feeding provides well-balanced, nutrient-rich meals that consist of staples like rice, beans, maize and other locally sourced ingredients. Their slogan is “There’s life in every bowl.” Since its founding in 1989, the charity has fed more than 16 million children.
A Rewarding Experience
One of StorageGives' standout features is its commitment to ensuring that every dollar donated goes directly to selected charities, with no profit taken by the organization or its contributors. This unwavering dedication underscores its status as a true nonprofit. Getting involved can be a rewarding experience, and partnering with the organization is simple. Operators who use StorageAuctions.com as their online-auction vendor can choose to donate a portion of their lien-sale proceeds. Vendors and other industry partners can also make a direct donation.
Another way to take part is to attend StorageGives events like the “100% Soiree” that was held in New Orleans in early 2023. The industry community raised more than $200,000 in just one night! In fact, the organization hosts charity benefits multiple times per year, often in conjunction with self-storage conferences and tradeshows.
“The storage industry has been so good to many of us, and I have always been a firm believer that ‘to whom much is given, much is required.’ Giving requires so little but has such a big impact, not only to the world, but even to friends that we have in our industry,” Bickford says.
Jennifer Downer is the chief operating officer of XPS Solutions, which offers a suite of technology products and services to the self-storage industry. She’s the parent of two 11-year-old autistic children. For more information, call 877.977.8721.