TOOLBANK! How They Work for Nonprofits – Podcast with The Nonprofit News

The conversation explores the intersection of innovation and leadership, highlighting ToolBanks’ operations, and their profound utility for nonprofit organizations. Patty elaborates on ToolBank’s “business-to-business” model, which exclusively caters to nonprofits and charitable organizations. She explains that nonprofits can easily access a vast array of tools for their projects by borrowing them online and collecting them from the nearest ToolBank location at a significantly lower cost.
Throughout the interview, Patty emphasizes that ToolBanks offers more than just traditional tools like hammers and shovels. She notes that ToolBank USA has over 900 different tool types in their inventory, including event equipment and sophisticated machinery like mulchers. This diversity enables ToolBank USA to transcend traditional limitations and cater to a larger audience.


Long-Term Recovery Efforts Continue in California from the Oak Fire

On July 22, 2022, the Oak Fire took hold in our small rural county of Mariposa. Before the fast-moving and devastating fire could be tamed and put out on August 10th, it destroyed 19,244 acres and over 189 buildings, including 129 homes: displacing over 214 members of our small-knit community.

Over the last year, the Alliance for Community Transformations has provided fire case management services to those directly impacted to help assist them to get back on their feet and navigate the long road ahead of them as they look at rebuilding their homes and their lives after losing everything that they once owned.

During this time, our community also experienced the devastating effects of two atmospheric river flooding and heavy snow events that further damaged properties, including roads, driveways, outbuildings, and even temporary housing units. This was a double blow to our Oak Fire survivors and has only added to their struggle to rebuild.


Check out what’s going on at each of our ToolBanks across the nation. Scroll down to each affiliate and expand the text block to read more about your favorite ToolBank team. All of our affiliates are doing amazing work and we can’t wait to share their updates with you monthly.

Make sure and scroll through the images to the right of our affiliate updates. Most of the updates come with a couple of images related to their article.

Atlanta ToolBank Update:
In February, the Atlanta ToolBank welcomed Torry Holmes as their new Tool Lending Specialist. The organization has plans to hire two additional members to their team in the upcoming weeks. We are excited to see the ToolBank family grow! Also, they increased their tool handling fees  from 3% to 5%.
On the right, you can see some pictures from the February Tool Lab Kids event. Thomas, the Building Assistant, led the activity and taught the children how to build a small wooden soccer game that was generously donated by The Home Depot Foundation. Additionally, the ToolBank recently hosted a group of Cub Scouts who were building derby cars.
Baltimore ToolBank Update:
Three threads that twine to tell a ToolBank story…
Thread #1: If you walked through the front door at the ToolBank on any summer day between 2014 and 2023, you might have experienced an issue. Our metal door swelled in the heat and became nearly impossible to open. It wasn’t physically impossible, but it was so tight in its frame that you would likely think it was locked when it wasn’t, then end up locking the deadbolt for real, incurring an unproductive loop of second-guessing and exasperation. It took experienced staff to guide newcomers through the doorway. Even when the door was unlocked and performing, you know, the basic function of a door by opening, you had to kick at it or put a shoulder into it. The number of footprints and shoulder smushes on the interior of the door attest to this history of hard opens.
Thread #2: In early 2022, we lost a key long-time supporter of the ToolBank, Charles D. Eaddy. He lived in California, and his support from afar meant a lot to us as a family. He was funny, bold, loud, ornery and colorful. We proudly count him as a supporter of our work and have missed him.
In his honor, the Eaddy family made a legacy gift to the ToolBank to fix the damn door. This project was fitting for the gift, embodying his strength and dedication to keeping loved ones safe. Strength starts at home and home starts at the front door.
Thread #3: This job was difficult for us to complete, despite our determination. We weren’t sure if we needed a new door or a new frame, or if we could manage the task ourselves. We didn’t know if it was a job too small for a construction firm to care about or too big for a handyman to handle. We felt uncertain about what to do.
Unexpectedly, a friend from Clark Construction Group visited us when our stubborn door refused to open. After discussing the issue, they kindly connected us with Commercial Interiors, who sent a crew to fix the door two weeks later. In just an hour, the crew finished the job with a few passes of a mason’s saw and some “brick redeployment.” We didn’t need a new door or frame, just a little extra room around the edges.
We’re grateful to Clark Construction for their generosity and for freeing up our funds to dedicate to other facility improvements. The Eaddy family supported us in keeping with Charles’ legacy, which encouraged and supported their strength every day. We couldn’t have found a solution without the funds, and we’re thankful for all the support from our community.
This story shows what it takes to run an organization like the ToolBank. We rely on many connections and supporters, and sometimes face false starts and hassles. However, we’re a small but mighty force for good, with volunteers and supporters backing us every step of the way.
We appreciate the generosity of the Eaddy family, Clark Construction, Commercial Interiors, and Duo+ Graphics, who kindly produced the sign as an in-kind gift. We’re not soliciting them, but we’re touched that they decided to support us in this way. If you’re looking for a design project to be printed, please consider Duo!
Charlotte ToolBank Update:

SHARE Charlotte and the United Way of Greater Charlotte partnered together to host the first Corporate Volunteer Summit on 2/29 to share best practices from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors on how to have an impactful and engaging employee volunteer experience. Charlotte ToolBank’s Executive Director, Maureen Krueger, was one of the moderating panelists for this event.

Corporate volunteers can be a huge force for good by providing the human power and passion to provide much-needed support to our local nonprofits. Additionally, 71% of companies are using volunteerism as a way to unite their workforce.

Maureen also wanted to take this time to recognize the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Adam Meade. She shared the message with her board of directors and wanted to share it also with our network and supporters. Thank you for your kind words, Maureen.

I am writing with very sad news. Adam Meade, Director of Community Engagement at the Atlanta ToolBank, passed away yesterday morning. I know most of you never met Adam and might not have even heard me talk about him by name but he was huge supporter of our ToolBank. He and I became fast friends when he joined the Atlanta ToolBank in August of 2016. Adam and I served as ToolBank bartenders whenever we gathered for a network events, though Adam started the trend of Google forms requesting everyone’s favorite beverage types! No one was more excited than Adam when I came to Atlanta ToolBank events and it made them that much more enjoyable! Adam shared anything he created for the Atlanta ToolBank with me willingly – including updating his business card design with our information. I will think of him every time I hand out my business card.  Adam also handled the redesign & roll out of the new ToolBank logos, making sure each affiliate had all their logo options. An Atlanta celebration of Adam’s life will hopefully happen early in the Spring and I will be attending.

Cincinnati ToolBank Update:
Take a moment to check out Cincinnati ToolBank’s 2023 Impact Report by using the button below. The organization is grateful to all the member agencies, supporters, donors, volunteers, and staff who contributed to making the year 2023 outstanding. They have exciting plans in store for 2024, such as the Tool Training Center, Facility Rentals, and Building Change. Keep an eye out for these new opportunities!
If you’re in Cincinnati this summer, join us for our 3rd annual Par-Tee for the ToolBank golf outing on June 7th at the Mill Course. For more information, visit:
Houston ToolBank Update:
The Houston ToolBank is celebrating their 10-year anniversary and recently had an article highlighting some of their achievements in the Houston Chronical.
Ten years and 500K tools later, Houston ToolBank equips nonprofits at a fraction of the price
On Friday morning, Stevie Vu, director of operations for Asia Society Texas, stopped by a warehouse in Houston’s Denver Harbor neighborhood to pick up a few generators to use for the March 1 Tiger Ball, the group’s annual gala and biggest fundraiser.
A few months earlier he had visited the same warehouse — home of Houston ToolBank — to pick up supplies for a landscaping project: wheelbarrows, tarps, a variety of shovels, water coolers to keep volunteers hydrated.
“Instead of having to buy all those tools that we wouldn’t have storage for, Houston ToolBank is a great resource,” Vu said. “Their inventory list is pretty vast, and it’s really helpful.”
Phoenix ToolBank Update:
The Phoenix ToolBank participated in this year’s 2024 Birdies for Charity Program during the PGA Waste Management Phoenix Open. Supporters of the ToolBank were able to donate funds and generate contributions based on the number of birdies made by PGA TOUR players during the WM Phoenix Open. The ToolBank joined a list of outstanding organizations in the Phoenix area.
Phoenix also hosted a Flash Tool Sale in February. We hope that some of our ToolBank USA staff were able to help clear some extra space in the warehouse and sell some of your extra tools!
Richmond ToolBank
Help us welcome the newest member of the Richmond ToolBank crew, Gillian. Gillian is the new Program Specialist, and she plays a pivotal role in program development and implementation. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2022, Gillian spent a year teaching abroad before returning to Richmond to pursue her Master of Public Administration at VCU. Gillian is passionate about community service and empowerment. She found her calling at Richmond ToolBank, where she contributes her skills and expertise to support the mission. Outside of work, Gillian enjoys participating in bar trivia competitions and Jeopardy screenings, as well as staying active in the outdoors through hiking, camping, and kayaking.
More about Gillian:
𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗜 𝗮𝗺 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮𝘁 𝗧𝗼𝗼𝗹𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗸 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗲…  At trivia, playing board games, hiking or backpacking, watching television or movies, and studying towards my MPA.
𝗙𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗧𝗼𝗼𝗹/𝗣𝗶𝗲𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗘𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗽𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 & 𝗪𝗵𝘆…  My favorite piece of equipment at the ToolBank is a cooler, because you know it’s going to be a good time when there’s a cooler.
𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗹𝗹, 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲? I would love to learn any sort of artistic skill.
𝟯 𝗜𝘁𝗲𝗺𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗕𝘂𝗰𝗸𝗲𝘁 𝗟𝗶𝘀𝘁…   Win Survivor, hike the Inca Trail, and travel to Antarctica
Windy City ToolBank
WE’RE HIRING! If you know anyone in or around the Chicago area, please pass this information along.
ToolBank Disaster Services (TDS) Midwest Territory Manager and Warehouse Manager ToolBank is seeking an energetic and professional candidate to join our team as TDS Midwest Territory Manager to lead our operational initiatives within the prescribed territory. This job is stationed out of our Windy City ToolBank in Chicago, IL.
ToolBank Midwest Territory Manager must have excellent communication skills with the ability to speak to organizational leaders with confidence and service knowledge. They must possess a passion for the ToolBank mission and the organizations we serve. Team members must react to change with urgency and efficiency. The ideal candidate will bring personal initiative, strategic thinking, and a natural ability to develop relationships through clear communication and personal warmth with various constituencies.
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