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December 5, 2008


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Gifts in Kind International’s director of business association development Ginny Royal told us many associations and corporate sponsors don’t know they can save money on shipping and get a tax credit by donating products to charity after a convention, trade show or annual meeting. When we trekked out to Alexandria to meet Ginny, we learned a few different ways Gifts can help associations meet their members’ desire for charitable giving and community involvement.


Gifts In Kind’s Ginny, Barbara Florence, CEO Barry Anderson and Corey Porter. Ginny said that associations often don’t know what to donate. Since Gifts In Kind works directly with 2,000 charities across the country, they can help place leftover products or coordinate disaster needs like they did with the National Association of Home Builders and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) after hurricanes Ike and Gustav in the Gulf Coast. Recently, Gifts In Kind helped the National School Supply and Equipment Association donate 12 huge truck loads of school furniture that had been on display at their November trade show to Baltimore area Title 1 schools.


Ginny says associations should ask for her help at least 6-8 weeks before a show, so she can provide exhibitors with forms and information about donating at the show.  Those exhibitors who donate their exhibit items will be provided with an 8283 tax form and can use their donation for a tax deduction at year’s end. Ginny says that even non-traditional donations can be very helpful. For example, she said she got thank you notes from many charities when Estee Lauder donated cosmetics to reach homes for battered women and cancer victims.


Ginny also helps association charities meet their goals by designing specific programs, like the Toy Industry Foundation’s Toy Bank. Last year, the Toy Bank collected 650,000 toys worth $5-6 M. Gifts In Kind created a website for the Toy Bank and linked it to the Gifts In Kind website and TIF’s website. Gifts In Kind takes care of the logistics and vets the charities. Last year, AHAM wanted a charitable way to celebrate its 40th anniversary, so Gifts In Kind helped them design the Home Sweet Home program, with the goal of providing appliances for 40 families in New Orleans who lost everything during Hurricane Katrina. In the end, AHAM worked with Gifts In Kind to help over 100 families and were given an ASAE award for corporate social citizenship.

Is your association doing something special around the holidays? Association Editor Abraham Mahshie wants to know; email him at: Abraham@bisnow.com.

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