Gifts in Kind Keep Companies Bullish on Serving
Even in a bear market, many companies want to support nonprofit organizations, whether monetarily or through drives and donations. But even when the well seems dry, there are ways to make a difference.
Gifts in kind – services or goods that organizations would otherwise have to pay for – are particularly helpful, especially when an individual or team possesses a valuable skill. When A Stepping Stone Foundation approached Avnet for a donation in 2000, the company didn’t have the budget for a donation at the time, but it did have something else we needed.
Avnet has made two marketing videos for A Stepping Stone – one is used in our media kits and new donor packets, and the other was for our Breakfast of Champions, which thanks our supporters. There is no way these videos could have been made without their help – we simply don’t have the funds or our own equipment to produce them.
Besides the value of the videos themselves, the increase in donations that have resulted from others seeing them is priceless. People respond really well to the videos, which are so well put together.
In addition to creating the videos, Avnet referred A Stepping Stone to another valuable resource – Jeanne Baker, a senior business analyst at Avnet Technology Solutions, who now serves on our board of directors. The expertise and perspective Jeanne brings is invaluable.
Serving as a program volunteer is another way to make a difference without breaking the bank. A Stepping Stone provides preschool classes for three- and four-year-olds as well as adult education and parenting classes for their parents, and we always need people to read to our preschoolers or practice English with them. Likewise, gently used children’s literature is always welcomed.
Even when the bottom line has taken a hit, companies are still rich in marketing, IT, finance and strategic planning expertise. The opportunities to make a difference for community organizations are unlimited.