- Post a wish list: This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to solicit in-kind donations. Simply post a list of all the things you need on your website, newsletter, and printed brochures. You might be surprised at what you get – folks often recycle items that are perfectly workable and practically new. Be specific about your needs, and find a way to thank people while gently and kindly declining donations that do not fit your specifications.
- Post on Craigslist: Search to see if the item you need is available through Craigslist. Or you can post your own specific request at no charge. Make sure to provide contact information and a link to your website so folks know who you are and what you do.
- Ask at your local Thrift Store: Often, small local thrift stores will keep an eye out for specific merchandise for community-based nonprofits – and give them to you for free or for a discounted price. This is an especially good resource for art and craft supplies.
- Build relationships with local businesses: Shop locally – and once or twice a year, ask those businesses to give back to you with a specified in-kind donation. If you are a membership organization, this can a way for them to join. Be sure to acknowledge these donations publicly through your website, member lists, and newsletters.
Just a couple of final notes: send formal thank-you letters when you receive in-kind donations, and be sure to include the total value of in-kind donations in your annual fiscal reports.These strategies can help build donor relationships and financial sustainability.
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