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A Plan for Monetizing a Gift Horse in Order to Clothe Those Struggling with Poverty

What should we do with a gift horse?

This is what Windfall wanted to know.

Windfall provides new clothing and other basic needs items to 64,000 people in the Greater Toronto Area who are struggling with poverty. Every year, this registered charity receives $28 million worth of goods donated by Canadian retailers and manufacturers, and distributes them through social services agencies to those in need.

The Challenge

Bridal gowns aren’t typically an item required by Windfall’s clients. Yet the charity receives many of these beautiful gowns. As inventory grew, the organization decided to put this gift horse to work, holding a number of events to sell the gowns.

Now Windfall wanted Endeavour’s assistance in determining the best business model for ongoing bridal gown sales to generate sustainable revenue for the charity.

“We needed help to determine the best way to operate a self-sustaining discount bridal boutique and to see if it could be turned into a source of annual revenue for our charitable programs.”

Our Approach

The Endeavour consulting team started with a thorough assessment of Windfall’s current operations, from inventory procurement to sales. The team conducted onsite visits, interviewed staff, examined documents and studied the organization’s capabilities and limitations.

With an understanding of Windfall’s business model, Endeavour conducted a market and competitive analysis followed by surveys and interviews to measure customer demand. Finally, the team explored several models for delivering ongoing revenue to support Windfall’s programs.

“The Endeavour volunteers produced an incredibly professional and thorough strategic plan that we have already put in place.”

The Outcome

Endeavour delivered a comprehensive plan to Windfall, recommending a business model for the short term that would effectively leverage the small charity’s existing resources, particularly transportation and storage.

This plan included suggestions for product mix, pricing strategy, distribution channels, donor program and inventory and volunteer systems. The team also recommended marketing, procurement and inventory management initiatives, along with an implementation plan and evaluation metrics.

For the longer term, Endeavour provided the board of directors and management with an analysis of other promising business models to explore.

Windfall said an enthusiastic “yes” to the plan for these dresses.

“Endeavour’s recommendations were smart and very clear, enabling us to implement them easily and with great success.”

Since this case study was originally published, Windfall rebranded to Brands for Canada in 2016. Click here to visit their new website

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