March 18, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- With budgets tighter than ever, few schools have extra dollars to spend.
Gifts-in-kind organizations solicit donations of new merchandise from corporations and redistribute it to members, which include schools, churches and nonprofit organizations.
Membership in gifts-in-kind organizations, like
, allows schools to obtain merchandise just by paying a low administrative cost. Schools can browse catalogs of donated supplies and request what they need.
Companies like Microsoft,
, 3M, Rubbermaid,
, Reebok, Gillette, Xerox, and Hallmark make such contributions, supporting charitable causes while taking advantage of tax deductions and reducing storage costs.
Items donated include office supplies, class materials, clothing and shoes, maintenance items, tools and hardware, toys and games, computer software, sporting goods, books, tapes, CDs, arts and crafts, personal care items, holiday and party items, janitorial supplies and more.
Schools usually pay a small membership fee (NAEIR charges
per year) and nominal shipping and handling charges to participate but the merchandise itself is free.
Organizations that participate must agree to use the merchandise in accordance with IRC section 170(e)(3), which states that the merchandise must be used for the care of the ill, needy or minors and cannot be bartered, traded or sold. The merchandise can be given directly to the qualifying individuals served by an organization or used in the administration of the organization.
Schools across the country are taking advantage of this service to help stretch their budgets. As one teacher said: "Free is a very important word!"
Gary C. Smith is the president of the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources (NAEIR), the oldest and largest gifts-in-kind organization in the country. NAEIR solicits and receives donations of excess inventory from American corporations and distributes the material to a membership base of more than 13,000 charities. It has collected and redistributed over $2 billion worth of new, donated supplies and equipment since its founding. NAEIR members average more than $18,000 worth of free products per year for their organizations.
For more information, schools can call 1-800-562-0955 or visit NAEIR's website at www.naeir.org.