Boon Supply: Where fundraising meets retail

Artemis Berry
Retail Gets Real
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Fundraising has evolved considerably over the past few years with the rise of crowdfunding platforms. Vertically integrated product company Boon Supply brings yet another change to this model: The company automatically gives 50 percent of every purchase value to over 500 causes and partners with schools to contribute $12.5 million annually to education programs. CEO and serial entrepreneur Lily Kanter joins this episode of Retail Gets Real from the NRFtech conference in San Francisco to explain how the Boon Supply model works.

Shoppers have the option to purchase products or browse causes to give to, and even start their own fundraiser. For the model to work, Kanter and her team design their own products and work directly with manufacturers in China and India to find a price point that allows them to give 50 percent back to the community. The primary focus is on product: “We want you to love the product,” Kanter says. “The giveaway just happens to be awesome — the extra secret sauce.” Boon Supply currently carries some 200  kitchen supply and reusable bag products.

Lily Kanter (left) chats with host Artemis Berry (right)

Lily Kanter (left) chats with host Artemis Berry (right)

Kanter isn’t new to retail. She co-founded the home décor company Serena & Lily after opening a baby furnishings store in California, and says being an entrepreneur takes creativity and resourcefulness. “Entrepreneurs are creative thinkers about a new idea. And I think what it takes to be successful is, first of all, you've got to be really tough physically and emotionally because you get a lot of rejection,” she says. “You can't be defeated. You just have to keep plowing through.”

To learn more about how Boon Supply is using capitalism as a force for good, listen to the full episode. For more stories from NRFtech, check out the official recap.

Artemis Berry is a co-host on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.