Thinking of unique, profitable ways to fundraise for your nonprofit organization or charity can be a challenge. If you are tired of cash donations and want to add excitement to your fundraising strategy, consider asking for in-kind donations. Not only are they effective at raising serious revenue, but in-kind donations can also bring the community together to support a common goal.
However, it can be hard to know where to start if you are not familiar with in-kind donations. You might be wondering, "What is an in-kind donation?" "Where can I find companies that give in-kind donations?" "How do I make the most of the in-kind donations our nonprofit organization receives?" This article answers these questions and more, covering everything you need to know to make the most of gifts in kind.
What Is an In-Kind Donation?
An in-kind donation is a non-cash donation given to a nonprofit organization or charity. There are various ways people can give in-kind donations, including providing a service, volunteering their time, or donating goods to the organization.
Examples of In-Kind Donations
Providing a service as an in-kind donation: Small businesses, corporations, colleges, and entrepreneurs can donate their expertise as an in-kind donation. For example, a professional athlete might speak at a fundraising event held by a nonprofit organization focused on children's health. This in-kind donation can attract more attention to your organization's event. Acknowledgment of these types of gifts is crucial.
Volunteering as an in-kind donation: Employees can volunteer their time in the form of an in-kind donation. For example, a local restaurant might have its volunteers help cater an event held by a nonprofit organization or charity. For this type of in-kind donation, volunteers are typically compensated by their employer or a third party. This type of in-kind donation can help alleviate the stress of finding volunteers while planning your event.
Donation of goods and items as an in-kind donation: It is possible to donate goods to a charity or nonprofit organization as an in-kind donation. Goods that are accepted as in-kind donations include food, clothing, furniture, tools, and supplies. For example, a local grocery store may donate canned goods to a nonprofit organization that services the homeless population in its community. This type of in-kind donation is famous around the holidays.
In-Kind Donations: Why Are They Important for Nonprofit Organizations?
We have just answered the question: "What is an in-kind donation?" However, you might still need to wonder what the value of in-kind donations is. Perhaps you are asking yourself, "What is an in-kind gift good for?" Or "In what case is an in-kind gift better than cash gifts?"
Funding is a common issue throughout the nonprofit world. Unfortunately, many nonprofit organizations and charities are often faced with the obstacles of strained budgets and outdated resources. This can not only make it difficult for nonprofit organizations and charities to service their targeted population and make a real impact, but it can also prevent them from growing their organizations and reaching a wider audience of potential donors.
Through in-kind donations, nonprofit organizations and charities can receive goods and services that would otherwise be beyond the scope of their budgets. For example, an in-kind donation in the form of volunteering time or providing a service makes it easier for nonprofits to organize and host an event. Some organizations, like Goodwill and Salvation Army, even rely on in-kind donations to serve their community.
Whether donating goods, providing a service, or receiving volunteers for events, nearly any nonprofit or charity can benefit from an in-kind donation. This is especially true now that many nonprofit organizations and charities are recovering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nonprofits are not the only ones who benefit from in-kind donations. Donating can help the donors in various ways too. For example, volunteering at a local fundraiser can garner publicity for a small business. In addition, donating clothes or household products to a charity can allow people to contribute to a cause they care about without spending additional money. In-kind donations are a great way to provide service because they offer alternate ways for a community to contribute to your nonprofit organization. Oftentimes people want to donate but don't have the means. Donations of goods and services is a great way for everyone to get involved.
In-Kind Donations for Charity: How to Decide What Is Right for Your Organization
Holding a fundraising event is one of the best ways for nonprofit organizations and charities to raise money. However, securing the resources needed for a successful fundraising event can be challenging. This is where in-kind donations, mainly donated goods, can be helpful. If your nonprofit organization has received a valuable in-kind donation, you can give away that item in a raffle at your next event. This will not only help you raise revenue, but it will also attract more people to your event and introduce them to your organization's cause.
When deciding what type of in-kind giving would best suit your nonprofit organization or charity, you should ask yourself the following questions:
"What product or service could my nonprofit organization benefit from?"
If your nonprofit organization is focused on serving the homeless population in your community, you may be most in need of essential items like toiletries and feminine hygiene products. Therefore, being gifted with a superfluous donation, like luxury bedding, may not help your organization's mission.
"What is an in-kind donation that my targeted audience would enjoy?"
If your nonprofit organization is focused on encouraging children to learn about and practice art, your target audience will also likely have a passion for art education. Therefore, in-kind donations, your target audience would enjoy including tickets to a local art exhibit or the independent theater in your town. In addition, giving these donations away in a raffle can help your nonprofit achieve its fundraising goals.
"What is an in-kind donation that could attract a wider audience of potential donors?"
If your nonprofit organization is hoping to bring awareness to its cause and reach a wider audience, it might benefit most from an in-kind donation as a guest speaker. For example, if your nonprofit organization is focused on encouraging children to get active, having a professional sports player speak at your event might encourage more people to attend the event.
How you answer these questions can help you determine what type of in-kind donation to request for your nonprofit organization. Once you know what type of in-kind donation your nonprofit could benefit from, you can start looking for potential donors.
Companies that Give an In-Kind Gift to Nonprofit Organizations
If your nonprofit organization or charity has yet to receive any in-kind donations, there is no need to worry. There are plenty of local and corporate businesses that provide organizations with in-kind donations upon request. Here are ten companies that can provide an in-kind donation for your next fundraising event.
1- Charity Safaris
Charity Safaris is an online charity site that provides nonprofit organizations and charities with hunting packages. The nonprofit or charity can then auction off these hunting packages to raise revenue for their cause. All of the hunting trips provided by Charity Safaris, which have an estimated retail value of $8,000 to $12,600, are offered free of charge to participants. In addition, the nonprofit organization or charity gets to keep all the proceeds from the auction.
Charity Safaris works closely with the hunting outfitters and the participants to ensure that everyone has a great experience. The destinations of the hunting trips provided by Charity Safaris include Argentina, New Zealand, and South Africa.
What is excellent about Charity Safaris is that any nonprofit organization or charity based in the United States and Canada is welcome to apply. So, Charity Safaris is worth considering if your nonprofit organization is looking for an item to auction off and is based in these locations. You can quickly request a donation by going to their website, clicking "Online Donation Request," and filling out the form.
2- Royal Caribbean Cruises
Royal Caribbean Group is a cruise vacation company. As the second-largest cruise company on a global scale, it is among some of the biggest companies that give in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations.
Royal Caribbean Group offers in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations and charities that hold similar values to them. They are currently accepting in-kind donation requests from nonprofit organizations and charities emphasizing oceans, education, and resilience. If your nonprofit is focused on ocean and environmental preservation or environmental education, you are a good candidate for an in-kind donation from Royal Caribbean Cruises.
To apply, you must click on the link above and fill out their donation request form. Royal Caribbean Cruises requests that applications are filled out 90 days before your fundraising event to be considered.
It should also be noted that the program does not accept requests from organizations or charities with a focus on health, individual schools, or parent-teacher associations. Royal Caribbean Cruises also does not accept in-kind donation requests from organizations that have policies that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender expression.
3- Dick's Sporting Goods
Dick's Sporting Goods is a franchise sports apparel company that sells athletic wear, sports equipment, and sporting goods. As a sporting goods store, athletic participation is an essential part of the company's philosophy. The company believes that participation in sports can motivate children to stay focused on their goals on and off the field. Due to this philosophy, Dick's Sporting Goods offers in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations and charities that strongly emphasize sports participation at a young age.
If your nonprofit organization focuses on children's health and involvement in sports, you may be a good candidate for an in-kind donation from Dick's Sporting Goods. To apply, you must create an account with Dick's Sporting Goods and fill out a request online.
4- The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory is a restaurant franchise located across the United States. It is one of the best companies that give in-kind donations to nonprofits and charities. As a fundamental part of its company philosophy, The Cheesecake Factory is committed to giving back to the communities where its restaurants are located. As of May 2022, the company has donated 662,000 pounds of food to local nonprofit organizations, and its staff has volunteered 17,300 hours in local communities.
The Cheesecake Factory gives various gift cards to eligible nonprofit organizations and charities. If you want The Cheesecake Factory to be a part of your next fundraiser, all you have to do is get in touch with the general manager at your local franchise. You can request an in-kind donation or ask if any of their staff members are interested in volunteering at your fundraiser event.
5- Build-A-Bear Foundation
As a part of the Build-A-Bear franchise, the Build-A-Bear Foundation gives back to the communities where its stores are located in various ways. Through their Hearts' n' Hugs Fund, the Build-A-Bear Foundation donates teddy bears to comfort children facing hardships. The foundation has donated more than 1.5 million teddy bears to charities and nonprofit organizations worldwide since its formation in 2004.
The Build-A-Bear Foundation can donate up to 1,000 teddy bears to eligible nonprofit organizations and charities. To qualify for an in-kind donation, the organization has to directly assist children and be registered in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Ireland.
Suppose your nonprofit organization or charity is focused on helping children in underserved communities. In that case, you might be a good candidate for receiving an in-kind donation from the Build-A-Bear Foundation. To apply, all you have to do is fill out a request form online.
6- The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is one of the biggest companies that give in-kind donations. The Walt Disney Company donated $294 million to nonprofit organizations in the 2021 fiscal year alone. In addition, over half of its annual philanthropy efforts go towards organizations that assist underrepresented communities.
As a part of the company's philanthropy, The Walt Disney Company has various programs to aid nonprofit organizations that align with its goals. First, through the Disney Conservation Fund, The Walt Disney Company awards grants to nonprofit organizations with a mission to conserve wildlife and protect the environment.
Through the Disney Wishes program, The Walt Disney Company pairs up with eligible children's hospitals and nonprofit organizations to bring joy and comfort to families with children facing critical illness through grant wishing. The Disney Wishes program can help eligible children from ages two and a half to eighteen to make their dreams come true.
Lastly, the Walt Disney Company gives away Disney park tickets to selected nonprofit organizations based in The United States through the Points of Light program. If awarded, your nonprofit organization can use these tickets to host an event.
Suppose your nonprofit organization works to protect the environment or help families with children facing illness. In that case, you may be a great candidate for the programs funded by The Walt Disney Company. Check out their website to apply.
7- Northern Bottling Company
Northern Bottling Company is a vending supplier company based in North Dakota. Its goal is to help companies and organizations run a successful events and alleviate some of the financial and logistical stress of planning. North Bottling Company can do so by donating beverages to fundraising events held by nonprofit organizations.
To qualify for a drink donation, the nonprofit organization must be located within the communities that Northern Bottling Company serves. In addition, the event being held by the nonprofit organization must also be within that same range. This is so the company can focus on providing a real impact on its local communities.
To apply, nonprofit organizations must fill out a donation request form and formally send it to Northern Bottling Company. The company goes through a selection process twice a month to pick eligible nonprofit organizations. Due to this, Northern Bottling Company asks that donation requests are submitted three weeks before the event to be considered.
Chick-fil-A is a fast-food franchise based in the United States. Giving back is a large part of the company's philosophy, which is why Chick-fil-A founded its Shared Table program. The Chick-fil-A Shared Table program aims to fight against hunger in the communities the company serves. This is why over one thousand Chick-fil-A restaurants give away surplus food to shelters, soup kitchens, and nonprofit organizations in their local communities. To this date, Chick-fil-A Shared Table has donated over 15 million meals.
If your nonprofit organization helps people with food insecurity, you may be a good candidate for in-kind donations from Chick-fil-A Shared Table. To learn more about Chick-fil-A's programs, consider checking out their website and applying for a donation request.
9- JAKKS Cares by JAKKS Pacific
JAKKS Cares is the philanthropic division of JAKKS Pacific, a company that designs and manufactures toys. Through the JAKKS Cares program, JAKKS Pacific donates toys and other resources to charities and nonprofit organizations that align with the company's mission and goals. Nonprofit organizations that are eligible for the JAKKS Cares program include nonprofit organizations that help children in underserved areas, nonprofit organizations that assist families faced with natural disasters, nonprofit organizations with a strong focus on animals, and nonprofit organizations that can utilize the company's toy donations.
If the work of your nonprofit organization fits into one of these categories, you may be a good candidate for an in-kind donation from the JAKKS Cares program. You can visit their site to submit a donation request online.
10- JetBlue Airlines
Jetblue Airlines is an American airline that operates throughout the continental United States and some parts of Canada. As a part of the company's philanthropy, JetBlue Airlines has various programs in place to aid nonprofit organizations that align with its goals. First, the JetBlue Foundation has partnered with almost 100 nonprofit organizations to support STEM educational programs that could lead to an aviation career. The foundation's work primarily focuses on communities that have been historically underrepresented in the aviation field. The JetBlue Foundation has contributed over $2.5 million to date.
Next, the Soar with Reading program founded by JetBlue Airlines donates new and unused books to children with limited access to educational reading materials. So far, JetBlue has donated over $4 million worth of readers with its Soar with Reading program.
JetBlue Airlines works with nonprofit organizations that align with the company's values. More specifically, the company looks for nonprofit organizations whose work focuses on education, community, youth, and the environment. In addition, JetBlue Airlines can offer eligible nonprofit organizations point donations. These points can be auctioned off in a raffle and used to buy tickets for air travel, hotels, and other rewards.
If your nonprofit organization is aligned with the values of JetBlue Airlines, you may be a good candidate for an in-kind donation. If you are interested, you can submit an in-kind donation request on the JetBlue Airlines website. The company requires that requests are submitted three months before the event to be considered. You should expect to hear back within four weeks, but you can also check the status of your request using JetBlue's online portal.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Gifts In Kind?
Generally speaking, in-kind donations can provide a considerable benefit to nonprofit organizations. An in-kind donation can reduce the financial strain placed on a nonprofit organization by offering goods or services free of charge. Depending on the type of donation, it can also help nonprofit organizations reach a wider audience and make a more significant impact.
However, nonprofit organizations need a clear idea of what type of in-kind donation they need. This will help them make the most of their efforts in acquiring an in-kind donation. Moreover, nonprofits should only accept in-kind donations that align with their goals. If an in-kind donation is not used, it will not only go to waste but also put the nonprofit organization under unnecessary stress. The last thing your nonprofit organization wants is unwanted gifts to sort through.
Gift Acceptance Policy
In-kind donation gift acceptance policies help set expectations for your donors, so they know what is appropriate to give. Even though the value of the donation may be significant, it may be more of a hassle than it's worth. In-kind contributions that may not make sense include houses, property or other gifts that will cost you more money to maintain.
Recording In-Kind Donations
In-kind donations should always be recorded as revenue. They should be recognized for fair value at the time they are received.
Report In-Kind Donations
It is required by law that in-kind donations are reported.
Conclusion: Why Your Nonprofit Should Request In-Kind Donations Today
Hopefully, we have answered the questions you might have had before reading this article, like "What are examples of in-kind donations?" Or "What type of in-kind donation is best for my nonprofit organization?" An in-kind donation can be an effective tool for your nonprofit to raise money without asking donors for a cash donation. It's important to remember, whether receiving goods and items for a food drive, being gifted with a guest speaker, or getting volunteers for an event, an in-kind donation can provide relief for any nonprofit organization or charity that is strained by the constraints of finances or a small staff.
However, your nonprofit can be given an in-kind donation. Plenty of companies give in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations and charities upon request. If your organization aligns with any of the companies listed above, consider sending an in-kind donation request online.