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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Under One Roof - HIV/AIDS Education and Support

...helping to generate unrestricted funds for agencies that provide HIV/AIDS education and support services.

The Under One Roof Story

Under One Roof is the only non-profit retail store of its kind in the entire world, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for San Francisco Bay Area men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS.

Under One Roof inspires and unites community volunteers, donors, staff, sponsors and merchant supporters to support of our common cause: generating unrestricted funds for non-profit agencies that provide HIV/AIDS education and support services, including promoting positive, healthy lifestyles.

Since 1990, Under One Roof has donated more than $4 million in unrestricted funds to approximately 30 participating San Francisco Bay Area HIV/AIDS service organizations (“ASOs”).

As the AIDS epidemic changes and public funding sources diminish, Under One Roof's mission has become more critical than ever.

How Under One Roof Works

Under One Roof raises funds by selling items in our San Francisco store and via our website. For about 85% of the items we sell, we purchase wholesale merchandise. We then sell these items via our retail and online stores. Approximately 15% of our items are donated by retailers and vendors, the proceeds of which help cover our operating costs. We also raise funds by sponsoring a variety of ­special events.

After covering our operating expenses, we distribute 100% of our profits back to our participating agencies, allowing them to raise funds without any expenditure of operating funds, staff or marketing — a significant benefit in an era of diminished public sector funding. Our favorable payment terms, freight terms, and pricing from wholesalers, as well as generous merchandise donations, allow us to give higher profit margins back to our participating agencies. On average, each participating HIV/AIDS organization receives a 40–50% annual return on their investment.

A Modest Start — A Bright Future

Under One Roof was born in San Francisco in 1990, when a group of friends, wanting to help fight the AIDS epidemic ravaging their friends, family and community, had an idea: Create a small retail shop and donate all the profits to local HIV/AIDS service organizations. That first year, they simply sold gifts and wrapping paper during the winter holiday season from a little corner of the Names Project’s storefront on Market Street in the Castro district. Customers were thrilled they could support people affected byHIV/AIDS simply by giving gifts. And so began an enduring Under One Roof tradition — “giving the gift that gives twice.”

Several years later, Under One Roof blossomed into a year-round retail store on Castro Street. The new store was a truly collaborative effort: Agencies came together to sell merchandise, volunteers ran and staffed the store, corporate partners provided funding, vendors and retailers donated merchandise, and customers shopped their hearts out. All together, all “Under One Roof.”

In 2008, 18 years and more than $4 million in ASO donations later, Under One Roof moved across the street to 518A Castro Street — to a storefront triple the size of its previous location. In addition to retail in-store and online sales, Under One Roof now sponsors a variety of in-store and offsite fundraising events.

“The gift that gives twice.” From a few holiday gifts and some wrapping paper has emerged one of San Francisco’s most-recognized and beloved non-profits dedicated to helping people living with HIV and AIDS. As long as there’s a need for these services and thanks to your support, Under One Roof will be here to help.