In-kind gifts are contributions of goods or services, other than cash grants. Corporations are a common source of in-kind gifts, which are offered along with, or in lieu of, cash grants.
Examples of in-kind gifts include:
- Goods, like computers, software, furniture, and office equipment
- Services, like meeting space, photocopy and mail services, and administrative/financial support
- Expertise, like legal, tax, or business advice; marketing and web site development; and strategic planning
Corporations increasingly prefer to provide in-kind support. Thus, if your funding request has options for in-kind support, this may help to start a relationship with a corporate funder.
Grantseekers should remember that corporations, unlike foundations and other charitable groups, do not exist to give away money. Their allegiance is to their shareholders, customers, employees and, most of all, to the bottom line. When approaching corporate grantmakers, always consider the company’s interests. A proposal to this type of funder should emphasize how support for your project will help the company achieve its own goals.
Also remember to check with companies in your region. Local businesses may be interested in supporting your nonprofit activities with donated goods or services. You can also check your state and local government surplus sales and auctions pages for discounted equipment, vehicles and other products.
To find prospects for in-kind gifts, we offer the following resources that you can use for free at all Foundation Center libraries and Cooperating Collections:
- Foundation Directory Online, our searchable database of grantmakers. Subscribe online to search now.
- Corporate Giving Online, our searchable database of corporate funders. Subscribe online to search now. Note: Not at all Cooperating Collections. Check for availability.
- National Directory of Corporate Giving, our print version of the nation’s leading corporate funders.
Learn now about corporate fundraising with Introduction to Corporate Giving, our free class, available free as an online webinar or an in-person class.
For more in-depth instruction, Securing Corporate Partnerships is our daylong, fee-based class that will help you understand how corporate donors differ from foundations, and where you can make inroads to gain their support and long-term commitment.
See also our related Knowledge Base articles:
- Where can I find information on corporate giving?
- How can I find corporate sponsorship? Where can I find examples of sponsorship levels?
- What is cause-related marketing?
- What are employee matching gifts?
- Where can I learn more about workplace giving?
Selected resources below may also be helpful.
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