Coastal Habitat for Humanity

Goal:  Impacting a non-profit’s bottom line through social media.

In 2012, Coastal Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore celebrated its fifth year as part of the community. Sales and higher quality furniture and housewares donations had been down for the past two years.  Coastal Habitat – the largest Central New Jersey affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International – expanded its public relations program relationship (since 2007) with StephensonGroup to include a social media program specifically for the store.

The organization wanted to increase sales and donations of merchandise as well as expand the reach and awareness of the store with the targeted mid and high net worth New Jersey demographic .


Stephenson Group’s social media team implemented a strategic and cost effective program for Coastal Habitat’s ReStore on Facebook and CraigsList.  The team created conducted extensive research regarding the ReStore’s target market and a presence and identity on both sites that would resonate, as well as messaging and a precise strategy for communicating to and engaging with target ReStore customers.

“I was skeptical but the numbers don’t lie, social media has been the endeavor that has most impacted the bottom line of the store,” said Susan Lindstrom, director of ReStore operations.  “My question now is – what’s next?  How can we expand the social media program?  I want more.”

Today, between the social media program for the ReStore and public relations program for Coastal Habitat, Stephenson Group creates and manages all the organization’s online content.

“As a non profit with an almost non existent budget, we couldn’t afford to tip toe into a new initiative or just test the waters.  Whatever we allocate resources to has to work,” said Lindstrom.   “Stephenson Group held our hand as we jumped into the unknown world of Social Media. They listened to us, took the time to learn about what we wanted and who we wanted to speak to and developed a plan that worked for us.  They told us what would work and what probably wouldn’t.  And they stay on budget while completely exceeding our expectations.  We are on track to pay for the entire year of this program in a few months.”

Social Media Program Results:

  • 16% increase in revenue (and growing)
  • 300% increase in phone in sales
  • 83% reduction in floor time for higher price point merchandise
  • 91% reduction in sale merchandise (selling at original price)
  • 28% new customers in target demographic (and growing)
  • 16,000+ unique awareness-building impressions on Facebook (and growing)
  • 100% increase in customers from outside organization’s footprint
  • 15% increase in illiquid donations; almost 2% increase in liquid donations