Teen Success, Inc.

Fall-Winter 2013
Project Type
Full team
Project Focus
Business Plans,
Organization Type
Human Services


Teen Success, Inc. (TSI) helps teen mothers find and get on a path to success. With six full-time employees and a $1,000,000 budget, CTI currently works with eleven partner organizations to serve 250 teen moms in the Silicon and Central Valleys. The programs and resources that TSI provides through partner organizations have proven effective and scalable. Its success record is impressive, and the organization has aggressive growth plans as it begins working with additional partners.


TSI has been receiving significant unsolicited donations of children’s clothes, equipment, and toys, all in excellent condition. While some of these are used by TSI clients, the supply exceeds the internal demand. TSI is considering establishing a retail outlet that would generate earned income and also provide employment opportunities for some teen moms. The concept was envisioned by the Executive Director and its exploration supported by the Board Chair (Becky Morgan, MBA 1978).

Project Objectives

TSI asked an ACT team to evaluate a retail concept and alternative sales channels to:

  • profitably monetize donated children’s goods,
  • and engage teen moms, supporters, and volunteers.

Project Overview

The ACT team approached this project from various angels. The volunteers:

  • surveyed and analyzed the market for donated children’s clothes, toys, books, and equipment;
  • evaluated the feasibility, sustainability, and profitability of a retail outlet and other sales channel outlets for donated goods;
  • and recommended the most profitable and low risk opportunity for TSI to pursue, with an associated go-to-market and operational plan.

Key Recommendations

Focus efforts on fundraising vs. revenue generation. If TSI were to test the market without high profit expectations, the ACT team recommended a “bake sale” that is a low risk path to monetizing donated goods and engaging with the community and teen moms.

Key Conclusions

Although there is an active market for used children’s goods, and respondents are highly receptive to supporting a local non-profit for teen moms, competition is fierce for donations and sales, and ASPs are very low with high discount expectations. To generate significant net profit, retail store volume would need to be substantial; the investment would be very high and probability of success is low. E-commerce as a sales channel is also challenging due to high online customer acquisition costs and high shipping costs for low ASP items.

Final Report Outline

- Project overview

- Market survey

- Pricing analysis

- Donation collection method

- Three business models:

  • Retail
  • Online
  • Event sales

- Key takeaway

- Recommendation