Today’s post is part 6 of chapter 5 of my book, A Day of Hope: Leading Volunteers to Make a Difference in Your Community. I realize that some of these posts might not be exactly related to “leadership,” but I believe they are relevant. Feel free to pass them on to someone you know who works at a nonprofit organization or church.
What’s in in-kind donation? It’s a donation of an actual good or service. It can be a great way to receive donated food you can use for your cause. An in-kind donation can be a donation of frozen turkeys from a local grocery story, a donation of canned cranberry sauce from a local Del Monte cannery plant, or a bunch of boxes from a local warehouse to put the food in to deliver to the families.
The main way we use in-kind donations for A Day of Hope can be found in the last section of this chapter entitled, “Food Drives.” So I will not go into the mechanics of food drives here, but I’ll share with you how to get in-kind donations from local businesses.
The key to fundraising for in-kind donations is to find a company that has something you’re in need of to feed families. An example for us is Foster Farms. Foster Farms sells thousands (if not millions) of frozen turkeys during the Thanksgiving holiday across the country. When I was looking to receive some donated turkeys from them, I did a little research, identified them as a possible prospect, sent a letter, and waited for a reply.
Doing research and sending an in-kind donation request letter is one method of doing in-kind donation fundraising, but there are many others. Preferably, like most areas of this book, you want to find out who you know personally who might be able to help you. Do you know someone who works at a company that can provide the food you need for your project? Do you know someone who knows someone at a company that an provide the food you need for your project?
If you can identify someone, try to make a phone call, send a letter, or set up a meeting over coffee. Do whatever you can to open the conversation in a way where you’re able to tell them what you hope to do with A Day of Hope and how they might be able to help. People don’t mind being “pitched” when it’s for a good cause.