Gifts in kind (GIK's) can be a wonderful thing. They can provide us with that “money can't buy” raffle prize, that piece of equipment that you couldn’t quite secure funding for, or those day to day essentials that keep the charity ticking over. They offer a great way for charities to gain or maintain corporate support and can break up the cycle of the usual monetary asks.
The majority of GIK's are solicited. You have approached that business for that raffle prize, or piece of equipment, or toiletries. It could have just taken one phone call to a warm contact, you may have been asked to write a letter to head office detailing your exact needs and intentions with said gift, there’s a chance you were even required to go through a lengthy application process. One thing is for sure - it is incredibly rare that you will get a phone call one day from a corporate supporter and they say “we have decided to give you THIS”.
Around this time of year, this all changes. Our wonderful corporate supporters turn this whole process completely on its head and become proactive. They decide that they are going to step up to the mark, grab the Bunny by the ears, and make a difference.
And so, the corporate easter egg collections begin. A quick google for news articles shows that more often than not they elect to donate to children’s charities - hospitals and hospices. Now this is all well and good, it would seem; these charities care for children; children like chocolate; they deliver the chocolate; the children are happy; the staff have done a good deed; everyone is happy, right? Wrong. Now there is a strong chance that I am preaching to the converted but for those who may not work in this specific area of charities I will highlight a few of the initial problems with donations such as this: