winwinner Wednesday: The Clothes Exchange

A fundraiser that doesn’t feel like one, The Clothes Exchange raises money for women’s charities with its annual shopping extravaganza.

The idea: Get women and area retail stores and manufacturers to donate desirable clothing and accessories, then sell them for a great price. A fun evening of shopping with friends, The Clothes Exchange¬†has become one of Burlington, Vermont’s most anticipated annual events. Last year’s event attracted over 500 women and raised $55,000+ to benefit Vermont Works for Women. This year’s event will take place at a new, bigger venue – the DoubleTree Hotel – and will benefit¬†King Street Center of Burlington.

How it started: Founded by Leslie Halperin, the event had modest beginnings, starting as a simple clothing swap with 20 friends in her living room. But as she realized how much people enjoyed it, it became clear the concept could be bigger, and raise money for women’s causes.

The winwin: Women keep their clothes out of the landfill, find great affordable stuff to wear, and enjoy a fun event. Nonprofits that improve the lives of women get a boost to their bank accounts. ($150,000 has been raised since the event’s inception in 2001.) Now that’s a winwin.

How they used winwin apps: The Clothes Exchange was one of only a few beta testers who got access to the very first version of winwin apps. They used it to promote their event, register attendees, run checkout, and manage their silent auction – and they gave us good feedback on how to make the tool better.

More info: To learn more about The Clothes Exchange, visit www.theclothesexchange.org. You can also check out the video below to see the 2008 event, which benefitted the Hicks Foundation. (You’ll even see winwin apps founder Anna Palmer in the video, who volunteered at the event.)

About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!