Should Companies Donate Goods and Services For Fundraising?

April 26th, 2011 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

Sainsbury's local charity of the year nomination cardphoto © 2009 Howard Lake | more info (via: Wylio)
Many businesses are approached multiple times per year to donate products, services or cash to support various causes. Schools, PTOs, non-profits, religious organizations, scouts etc are looking for help from the business community. Civic-minded businesses are interested in helping, but are confused about how to proceed. Companies would like to assist while also creating a positive marketing and branding opportunity.

Here are some guidelines to use in the decision making process.

1. Set a percentage of sales, profits or a fixed amount available to donate to worthy organizations.

2. Determine if you will donate cash, goods, services or a combination thereof.

3. Create a written policy governing your approach.

4. Designate which personnel are authorized to offer donations to organizations.

5. Document what types of organizations with which you will and will not get involved.

6. Draft wording you would like used as attribution for your donation.

7. Create a plan for what organizations you will proactively contact about making donations.

8. Create a plan to generate positive word of mouth and publicity for your contributions to the organizations.

9. Consult with your accountant about your policies, procedures and documentation to ensure the tax deductibility of your donations.

10. Require a written request on organization letterhead to help authenticate the validity of the request.

The Takeaway

Businesses should always be seeking positive marketing and branding opportunities. One great opportunity is through making donations to non-profit and charitable organizations.

Those are the guidelines. Over to you. Please comment below.

1. Do you make charitable contributions?

2. Do you have a written policy?

3. Have you received additional revenue or positive PR from your donations?

If you would like to contact me, you may do so by visiting my LinkedIn page, following me on Twitter,  or e-mailing me at rcberman2 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

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  1. Susan Promo says:

    Great article. All companies should make it a priority to step up and donate a litte more money, time, and goods to charity. Using promotional products as donation items is a fabulous suggestion. Co-branding with the recipient is probably one of the strongest marketing tools around.

  2. Many people express their support for companies who donate goods and services for fundraising goals or some charitable work. These companies can list down these achievement in their sites and help bolster their online reputation to gain more support from people.

  3. Neil Kort says:

    Corporate responsibility is a company’s humanitarian approach to less fortunate communities forsaken by either the local or national government. Truthfully, not all sectors of the government can monitor and contribute to the growth of communities, which include rural and isolated regions barred from the touch of modern technology.

    Neil Kort of Sacramento home care

  4. Mike Bell says:

    Absolutely, companies should donate goods and services for fundraising. It helps everyone, it helps the business, it helps the businesses customers, and it helps the charities. Its smart business first and foremost for any company. My company does it year round and we are rewarded for it year round.

    Mike Bell
    Marketing Specialist,
    Light Bulbs

  5. Reno Lovison says:

    Over the years we have donated in-kind services to school auctions to promote my wife’s piano teaching studio in Chicago. As part of the promotion we have included not only a certificate to be used for lessons but things like a t-shirt, music bag or a copy of my wife’s video that can be used to introduce young children to basic music concepts. This tactic has helped to build the brand locally and bring in new students.

  6. When deciding whether to donate cash, services, goods etc. You should always look for the opportunity that gives you branding not just to the charity but to their other donors and recipients as well. In other words, for example, if you are the local pizza parlor and are approached by the local high school baseball team, don’t just give them cash, offer to donate stadium cushions with your logo and theirs that they can sell at their games to make money.

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