Source 6: In-Kind Support
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Source 6: In-Kind Support

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The recession has put a damper on monetary gifts, but it also has spurred a new wave of creative in-kind donations, which can be surprisingly profitable for your organization. 

Trade Barter Associations

Bartering, old as humanity, has been kicked-up a notch through the creation of barter exchange associations. 

Bartering has become a sophisticated, international industry with several large associations acquiring smaller, regional groups and creating substantial online directories and markets with very diverse products and service offerings. 

Cash-strapped nonprofits have discovered that bartering can conserve their tight budgets, generate new sources of donations, and leverage new income by “flipping” unwanted in-kind donations. 

More on Trade Barter Associations

  • See the benefits for nonprofits.
  • Barter - Relevance and Relation to Money
    Is barter still relevant in the modern world? This collection of links provides information sources on barter and a brief account of its history and contemporary relevance. Get resources.
  • International Reciprocal Trade Association
    See if there’s a barter exchange association in your community. Explore.
  • National Association of Trade Exchanges
    See if there is a barter exchange association in your community. Explore.

Time Banks

Time banking is a great way to fill gaps in elder care services and strengthen nonprofit organizations that offer them. 

Members of time banks spend an hour helping another member and, in return, earn a time dollar worth an hour. They can then cash in their time dollar for assistance that they need.

Time banking promotes a circle of giving and receiving. Most time banks use online software to match members with the service(s) they need. These can include home repair, computer help, transportation, meal preparation, massages, and respite or childcare.

More on Time Banks

National In-Kind Distribution Centers

In-kind distribution centers solicit donations from manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers all across the U.S. Companies donating merchandise often receive tax deductions, clear out warehouse space, and receive the philanthropic benefit of knowing their products will be used by deserving nonprofits.

More on In-Kind Distribution Centers

  • Get tips on how to tap into them for your nonprofit.
  • Gifts In Kind International
    This organization distributes corporate product donations to qualified nonprofits. Gifts In Kind receives donations from thousands of large and small companies, including half of the Fortune 100 technology, retail, and consumer corporations. See if there’s a program in your area.
  • National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources
    This is a not-for-profit collector and distributor of new, donated overstock inventory from U.S. corporations to schools and nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits pay membership dues, plus shipping and handling. Explore this site.

Examples of In-Kind Support

Cars, real estate, life insurance policies, franchises, sculptures, and other donated items can be used, auctioned off for cash, or traded. Examples include:

  • Advertising, publicity, public relations
  • Building and office supplies
  • Introduction to prospective funders, board members, and other partners
  • Pro bono services in accounting, finance, legal, tax, market research, technology, strategic planning, or other business and management expertise
  • Volunteers
  • Printing
  • Audio visuals
  • Mailing and postage
  • Transportation, including vans, cars, or car rentals
  • Computer, Internet, and telecommunication services
  • Low or below-market loans
  • Facilities or rental space
  • Free advertising space
  • Internships
  • Art collection
  • Products such as food, clothing, shoes, or medicine
  • Recycled waste products

More Resources

Tech Soup Stock | Tech Soup
This online product donation service connects nonprofits with technology product donations from more than 40 leading providers. Administrative fees are typically 4-20% of retail prices. You can place requests for product donations online. Learn more.  

Recycles.org
This site offers computers, laptops, cameras, projectors, copiers, accessories, phone systems, storage media, and more to nonprofit organizations. It’s free to join, but there is a suggested minimum donation of $20 for three months of service to help with operating expenses. Check out this site.

Freecycle.org
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,810 groups with 7,245,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping garbage out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer. Learn more.

State and Local Surplus Property
You can find surplus property sales and auctions from state and local governments at USA.gov. See what’s available.

Rivernetwork has an excellent article and tips about securing in-kind gifts.

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older adults don't have to choose between paying for medicine or food.

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