What is Direct Purchasing ?
Got the funds but don’t have the time to research supplies? Trying to help as many people as possible without sacrificing the quality of goods? Working with Roonga to purchase bulk supplies reduces your overhead and maximizes the value of your dollar. There is no cost for engaging us and no obligation to purchase.
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Roonga’s Supplier Network
For the past few years, we have worked closely with nonprofits to understand how and why they select certain products. Initially, this was to choose the best products for our online collection drives – exploring the decision making process of picking the right goods under tight cost constraints. Over time, we have met with many vendors and reviewed a lot of products. The result is a network of vendors we trust and respect – those who are also socially minded and interested helping those in need. Most importantly, these vendors offer a set of affordable, quality products – these goods meet a minimum quality level that maximizes longevity and usefulness given their low cost. Although we continue to evaluate new vendors ongoing, we have recruited core group of suppliers who are reliable, dependable, thoughtful, and a pleasure to work with.
Why Work with Roonga
Working with Roonga is easy and efficient. If you already have the funds, Roonga researches the best options from our network of vendors and presents them to you. Below are key reasons to work with Roonga:
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No cost or obligation
Because we already work with these vendors and have a pre-existing arrangement, there are no additional costs for Roonga to work with our suppliers to create quotes for new or custom projects.
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Quality vendors
All of the vendors in our network have been screened for reliability, dependability, customer satisfaction, and ease of partnering. We have been working with our premier partners for years, and their track records speak for themselves. Not surprising, they are like-minded in wanting to help nonprofits improve the lives of those in need.
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Best price and/or quality for the dollar
Our vendors represent a range of prices and products, and we can select the ones that best fit your needs. All products available through our service must meet a minimum quality standard developed based on our experience working with nonprofits.
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End-to-end support
We partner with you throughout the entire purchasing process, from the needs evaluation through to the receipt of goods.
Products and Pricing
Our vendors carry a large inventory of supplies in the following product categories
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Backpacks
loose or prefilled, solids and prints
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School supplies
loose or kitted
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Clothing
coats, underwear, socks
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Hygiene supplies
loose or kitted, personal or large sizes
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Holiday gifts
seasonal
Below is a sample of the prices available to our nonprofits. For the largest volumes, we work with our vendors to improve the pricing from what it is below.
ItemPrice/Item
15” elementary school backpack with
  • Padded back
  • Padded, contoured straps with reinforced stitching
  • Quality #10 zippers
$3.75
18” middle-high school backpack
  • Padded bottoms
  • Reinforced stitching at the top seam of straps
  • Ample padding in back and straps
  • Quality #10 zippers
  • Built-in organizer in front pocket
$8.00
Universal school supply kit
  • 10-piece kit for students
  • Includes pencils, pens, eraser, glue stick, composition notebook, pencil pouch, and more
$3.75
Basic hygiene kit
  • 10-piece travel hygiene kit
  • Personal-size items include toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, washcloth, comb, and clear bag
$3.75
Adult crew socks (pack of 12)
$8.00
(Note: Prices subject to change.)
Ready to get started?
How Direct Purchasing Works with Roonga
Working with Roonga to purchase your bulk supplies is easy and efficient. There is no cost for engaging us and no obligation to purchase. Here is how it works.
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Create your budget and identify supply needs
Roonga reviews this information and identifies the right vendors in our network to approach.
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Review proposals
Roonga’s vendors provide quotes to address your needs.
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Approve or reject proposals
You decide if any of the proposals work for you. Roonga will place the order only after an approval is received.
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Receive your supplies
Once your pallets are received, simply review and confirm that everything arrived as expected.
Ready to get started?
Spotlight: How We Selected Our Low Cost Backpacks
What does “affordable quality” mean to Roonga? How does Roonga select the products for our nonprofit partners? Backpacks provide an excellent example to help answer this question.
Because backpacks are one of the most critical purchasing decisions for nonprofits working on back-to-school events, we decided to test low-cost backpacks in the real world. We gave selected low-cost backpacks to a few kids (and one adult) and monitored their progress over time.
Below is a list of issues we found. This was by no means a scientific test – but these are actual problems encountered by real people using low cost backpacks. There were a few more minor issues (e.g., zipper issues for small/side pockets, minor tearing in internal pocket separators), but this list below represents the most surprising or common issues we found.
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Shoulder Strap Seams
One of the backpack’s shoulder straps started unraveling after approximately 3 weeks of use. Pretty quickly, almost the entire seam up and down the shoulder strap unraveled, allowing the foam padding to protrude. Although the rest of the backpack seemed quite durable and usable, the child returned the backpack and requested to try another.
Shoulder Strap Buckles
Another unexpected problem! One of the buckles at the end of a shoulder strap cracked and broke. This meant that the entire shoulder strap was no longer usable – you could no longer cinch down and hold the backpack in place. This issue arose after the backpack was in use for less than 2 weeks.
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Water Bottle Pockets
Many backpacks now include one or more mesh pockets intended for water bottles. Across multiple backpacks, the mesh pockets were not durable – especially those that were entirely mesh (those sewn into a piece of cloth at the bottom fared better). With one backpack, the child continued to put his water bottle in the pocket and at the same time tried to hold the water bottle in place with his hand to prevent it from falling through.
Shoulder Strap Stitching
A few months into the school year, it was not uncommon to see the shoulder strap starting to tear at the top seam – particularly for older children and teens. The weight of the supplies in the backpack and the quality of the stitching affect the rate and severity of this tear. Although this problem is not limited to low cost backpacks, it is one of the more common issues with low cost backpacks.
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Backpack Bottoms
With so much of weight sitting at the bottom of the backpack, it’s common to see wear and tear at the bottom. As you’d expect, we saw the same with our tests – both tearing at the seams and thinning of the fabric as the year wore on. With younger children, the backpacks are not carrying as much, so their backpack bottoms tended to last. However, as children age, the backpack bottoms became more and more worn.
Zippers
One of the most common issues with low cost backpacks! Some of our evaluation backpacks arrived with broken zippers – they either got stuck easily or wouldn’t close. These were a no-go from the start. For the backpacks in the field, once we made sure the zippers worked, the children didn’t seem to have issues during the year. However, just trying out different backpacks in our collection, we could definitely tell that some zippers were smoother while others were harder to handle.
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High on Quality, Low on Prices
Our informal backpack test helped guide our selection process for backpacks. We now offer backpacks with quality zippers, strong stitching, padded backs, padded straps, and more. Although a low cost backpack is still a low-cost backpack, we believe in a minimum level of reliability and usefulness. The backpacks we have selected represent the best value for the dollar we could find.
Ready to get started?
See what people say
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Greeley Schools:
Thank you Roonga for the fantastic backpacks and the nonstop support leading into our event! The pallets of backpacks were PERFECTLY sorted and labeled properly. We've received a ton of compliments on them and can't wait to give them out to our students! Keep up the great work!
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Greeley-Evans School District (posted on Facebook)
Turning Points for Children:
Thanks so much for all your help over the past few months. I consider you part of our Turning Points fundraising team because you are such a great partner
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Monika Kreidie
Development Associate,
Turning Points for Children