Donor funding — a hot topic at the 2018 Impact Summit. Who are your donors? How to do you reach them? What do you need to give them in return? As a nonprofit, answering all those questions isn’t always easy, but it’s important to come together and share your wealth of knowledge. That is exactly what happened during a Roundtable Discussion during Impact Summit, and one interesting thing that was brought up was non-monetary in-kind donations.
What, besides money and volunteering, can your nonprofit accept and how can you use it?
One of the more common non-monetary donations is household goods. When working with clients who are trying to get back on their feet, having household goods, such as couches, toasters, mattresses, or pots and pans donated can make all the difference. These items can be expensive, and having donors who are perhaps moving or updating their home give their still usable items that could have otherwise ended up in the trash can make the difference for your clients. You could also put that towards running a small shop, giving your clients the opportunity for a job training program.
Cars are considered tax-deductible in-kind donations, and usually are worth more than the average monetary donation. If the car is in good condition, your donor can write off the fair market value of the car, and there are several options for what your organization can do with the vehicle once it’s been donated.
One option is to auction/sell the car for cash that you can put towards your budget, but another thing you can do (especially if the vehicle is in good condition) is utilize that vehicle for your organization’s everyday use. Maybe you can use it to transport clients to and from programs, or deliver meals. Another option is for you to give it to a client in need so that they may have a vehicle.
What kind of collections? Any kind! Stamps, baseball cards, or even novelty plate collections can be donated to a nonprofit. From there, your organization can get the collection appraised by an authority (such as a stamp dealer) and your donor can deduct the fair market value of their collection.
A specific story told at Impact Summit by Brandon O’Neill from Fidelity Charitable involved a wine collection. After finding himself allergic to wine, a former wine connoisseur donated his collection, and once appraised, he could write off the amount on his taxes as a charitable donation. Fidelity then auctioned off the wine and put the profit into a fund for nonprofits. Opportunities like this can seem rare, but that’s mostly because many don’t know it’s an option available to them.
Real estate donations are great in-kind donations because of how much it could help your nonprofit organization. You could always auction it off if you get the full rights to the land, but that’s not always how space is donated.
Maybe the city donates a building, meaning you have space to run programs or house clients who need it. Maybe a performing arts center donates their stage space to your youth development programs, giving you the chance to give your clients a new thing to do that wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Donated space can prove to make a huge difference in your service delivery.
While this is technically considered a monetary donation, stocks are in a bucket of their own. While they can fund programs in the long run, stocks can work towards the security of your nonprofit long-term. Your donor gets to write their donation based on the stock’s fair market value on their taxes, and your organization will profit over time with the growth of the stock. Most stocks are overseen by a financial advisor, who can offer guidance on whether it’s in your organization’s best interest to sell it at any time. Unlike the typical money donation, stocks can continue to work for you after the initial donation.
Non-monetary donations can come in many different forms, and oftentimes donors don’t even know that they can donate these things. Being vocal about your organization’s needs can how people can help can lead to a wide range of in-kind donations. Sometimes, reaching out to places that can fill your specific need when you know it’s possible can also help your organization in the long-term.