YShop Launches!

YShop was featured by BizWomen as an innovative strategy for revenue generation and constituent engagement.

"Dorri McWhorter brought a piece of the private sector with her when she left accounting to take over as CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago two years ago.

Her goal: Help the social service organization, which touches more than 200,000 people each year, also become a 21 st-century social enterprise.

And that’s why, under her leadership, the third-largest YWCA system in the nation is launching an e-commerce platform May 1.

Called “YShop,” the platform will feature 20 different products and services, from personal-styling sessions to jewelry, gourmet brownies to dresses by designer Maria Pinto, whose creations have appeared on Oprah Winfrey and First Lady Michelle Obama.

About five new products will be added each month. And the vendors featured on the site — all curated by YWCA staff — will give between 10 and 40 percent of the proceeds directly to YWCA Chicago.

“It changes the notion that a nonprofit has to be passive, (waiting for) people to give us money,” McWhorter said.

It’s also a strategic decision to combat the often-frustrating reality of the modern nonprofit landscape: For the last four decades, philanthropy dollars have hovered around 2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product — in spite of a growing number of charities, nonprofits and fundraisers.

In fact, researchers predict that while donations to charities are inching up, it could be several more years before most organizations are able to raise as much money as they did in 2007, pre-recession."

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