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What's your opinion on renting to "non-profits"?

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  • What's your opinion on renting to "non-profits"?

    I'm running a newly constructed facility, and it's my first lease up site... I've been in the biz for 28 years and always managed existing facilities. Do non profits generate any referrals which pay rent or just send over others looking for a hand out too? I've already been hit up by 5 or 6 organizations and I've told them all no, it appears they bounce from facility to facility. Aren't their bills "write-offs" anyway? Today's request said only needed for two months to store gifts he's gathering for Christmas... well Christmas is almost a year away!-that's more than two months. Please advise-thanks in advance.

  • #2
    We have done Toys for Tots here with 2 10x10 units for years. That is all. I have had others that ask but first, if you even think you might do it, ask for all the paperwork to back up what they say and check the web sites and check reviews about them and then say NO. If they are truly non profit the storage fees are tax deductible.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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    • #3
      In San Diego we'd give a large unit to the next door neighbor who collected toys for kids, but that was in Sept. Here we have several and they promote us on event flyers etc. The units aren't free-we do half off or a very large discount that is reviewed yearly.
      Don't be so hard on yourself. The mom in E.T. had an alien living in her house for days and didn't notice.

      WA State

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      • #4
        I think the reason for my reluctance is when I managed a facility in Napa which was hit hard by the 2014 earthquake, some of the first tenants to complain to the media about not being able to retrieve their items from a red tagged building were the non profits. Prior to the quake all I heard was how great the facility is, how nice of us to donate a space, I sure like your facility (why wouldn't you-you're getting free rent) and then bam-disaster strikes, boy did the tides change. I just got the feeling no good deed goes unpunished. Google Napa's quake, you'll see the horror I lived... but survived.

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        • #5
          We donate a few units to non-profits. Only one has been "trouble" for us, just plain rude and ungrateful.
          AmyLou

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          • #6
            I have non profits I, give units too. I have some I give reduced rent in exchange for advertising, and I have some that pay our full rates. It all depends on what they want.

            I don't think just giving away a unit generates anything. But there are groups that I give units too that I also volunteered for as well. And that has always generated rentals.

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            • #7
              I have a few that are donated; kiwanis, a local veterans org., and a local guy who does an annual event for the Harry Chapin food bank (but he only needs space for 2 months). I give a discount on a unit to the high school in exchange for advertising at football games and any newsletters they send out. I have no issues with any of them. I won't do any more until at least one of the long-term ones vacates. I also let the sheriff's department use a large unit for about week last year so they could store/decorate their float for the xmas parade.
              Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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              • #8
                I rent to non-profits but they pay with a discount.
                Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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                • #9
                  We have a few units that are either free or with a steep discount- but they all have to sign a lease with a clearly written end date for the deal they are getting. So, when they stay past their agreed upon end date for the discount they have to start paying regular rent rates.
                  You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
                    We have done Toys for Tots here with 2 10x10 units for years. That is all. I have had others that ask but first, if you even think you might do it, ask for all the paperwork to back up what they say and check the web sites and check reviews about them and then say NO. If they are truly non profit the storage fees are tax deductible.
                    Has anyone ever had trouble getting Toy for Tots or other organization to come and pick up the donations?! I stopped doing the toy drives because 2 years in a row ( back when I worked in AZ ) we had full bins of toys sitting there well into January. I called, left voicemails, even went to the websitte and tried contacting someone that way. The owners finally had me to take them down to the Gospel Rescue Mission for Women and Children because the toys for Tots rep would not call us back. They even let a storage unit go that was full of equipment and other donated items- a unit we had donated to them! They wouldnt come pick it up so we had to foot the bill to clean it out. So, I personally have a bad experience with them. I have heard great things about them from other folks- so maybe we just had a dud of a Rep? Who knows
                    You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....

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                    • #11
                      End of last year we had a guy from AZ who called and wanted two free 10x20 units in exchange for some nebulous promise of them telling others about us. He had this quick patter about his 'non profit' that made me think of a shady, used car salesman. I forwarded the request but pretty much said I didn't think it was worth it and mgt co. agreed.
                      Don't be so hard on yourself. The mom in E.T. had an alien living in her house for days and didn't notice.

                      WA State

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                      • #12
                        Make any non profit supply proper paperwork and see what they do. As far as the Toys for Tots, they are the local Marines and I have gobs of contact info and they have never failed to clear the units out before Christmas. Then they fill them up thru the year. So far, so good.
                        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                        • #13
                          First, always get a signed lease, always charge more than a nominal fee. I take things one step further and their lease is for the period of one year, renewable annually if all parties agree. For me, non-profit units have been phenomenal for new rentals! Encourage them to refer your facility so you can keep offering them a discounted rate.

                          If they're planning a big event, offer to provide donuts and coffee for their group as they're loading/unloading supplies for their event from your facility.

                          If you "partner" with them they can be a very good source of referrals. Also, be sure to hand off some of your handy referral coupons to the person who signs the lease and ask them to make them available at their next meeting.

                          Let's say someone picks up a referral card you gave to the Rotary Club, Rotary member comes in and rents a unit and gets a discount from the card. The promo you offer, be it a check, gift card etc. to the referring person goes back to the non-profit for their use.

                          Some will use your gift cards in silent auction baskets at fundraisers, or take your charitable donation check and use it to further their good work. When done right, it is a great win-win for both parties.

                          Just never give a unit for free without a deadline attached to the lease for "free" use. Free for the first two months (the time they say they need it for) and then standard rate begins on month number 3.
                          Gina 6k
                          twitter.com/GinaSixKudo
                          VM: Four-Oh-Eight- Seven-Eight-Oh-Eight-Oh-Seven-Nine
                          storagebizhelp@gmail.com



                          You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
                          I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.

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                          • #14
                            We donate a specific number of units to non-profit and had no problems. Some have left us awesome reviews on google maps.

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