5 reasons why In-Kind Giving is the secret to attracting younger donors


What is in-kind giving?


Oftentimes, when one thinks of donations it may be easy to gravitate towards a monetary association, such as contributing cash or towards a fundraiser. This could be especially true during COVID-19 where perhaps many organizations adapted to online fundraising to continue to fund operations. However, another way of giving that many organizations and donors alike have opted for is in-kind donations, which may just be the secret to attracting younger donors. So what exactly are in-kind donations? In-kind donations are essentially non-cash items a donor can give, such as groceries or clothing for those in need.


Giving in-kind allows those in need to get tangible and essential items often for their day to day living, empowering a meaningful exchange as the donor can not only relate to value their donation (ie. an essential such as groceries) but know it will have a positive impact for the individual. In addition to items, an in-kind donation can also be of services such as professional services (ie. accounting services) or even giving toward dental services.


5 ways in-kind giving aligns with younger generations


When looking at the younger generation of donors, there is an inherent connection between in-kind giving and younger donors, who are looking for transparency and impact. Understanding the alignment between in-kind giving and what younger generations desire empowers organizations to build a giving experience that not only attracts younger donors but retains them.


Here are our 5 key findings on how in-kind giving can attract younger donors and why it is vital to implement change!


  1. In-kind giving promotes transparency which is highly valued by youth- Millennials, when giving, want to see their contributions make a measurable impact, which can easily be achieved through in-kind donations that allow donors to know exactly how they are supporting a family. Thus, a single donation gives an immediate feeling to the donor about the value of their money, especially when they can relate to the product or service their giving on a personal level (ie. knowing the necessity of groceries)

  2. In-kind giving helps meet a younger donor's need for effectiveness - Fidelity Charitable found that younger donors have high expectations of the organizations they support, meaning they aren’t just content contributing cash and not seeing an effective result, making it crucial for an organization to cater to this need for effectiveness. Furthermore, with the power of the internet younger donors can easily rule out ineffective organizations. For instance, before feeling comfortable enough to donate money - 40% of millennials and Gen Zers conduct significant research.

  3. In-kind donations signal a forward-thinking approach to younger donors - Specifically, remote in-kind donations can highlight the brand of the nonprofit as forward-thinking, innovative and effective in helping the community. This is an important shift from nonprofits being framed as lacking necessary technology, spending too much on overhead and administration, and long inefficient donation processes. This becomes increasingly important when taking into account the statistic that 78% of millennials are “very likely or somewhat likely to stop donating” if they don’t know exactly how their donation makes an impact.

  4. In-kind giving gives measurable results - Donors of the future are increasingly looking for “measured impact” of their donation, one which can be achieved through products and services. If a donor does not see real impact with the dollars they invest, they are more likely to shift their focus elsewhere, leading to missed opportunities for organizations that fail to deliver.

  5. In-kind wishes display your organization's mission - Displaying exactly what products and services the families you serve needs displays a tangible way your organization is working to achieve their mission. Thus, it also allows younger donors to connect with your organization's mission in a tangible way and build trust knowing what their donation goes towards. 90% of Millennials state they are “more motivated to give by a compelling mission” and trust plays a huge role in whether or not they give.


Ultimately, in-kind giving may not just be the secret to attracting younger donors but is also an important step for nonprofit organizations to invest in long-term and trusting relationships with these younger generations, setting up the organization for success and converting their community into supporters.


Evidently, there is also shift in perspective required for nonprofit organizations to realize the donor pool that exists for in-kind donations and the power it holds to future-proof your organization, outside of cash donations


5 easy steps to set up in-kind donations with Geenees and connect with younger donors!


While setting up a new process can seem daunting, leading by example and setting up remote in-kind giving can accelerate your organization’s growth alongside tapping into a younger donor pool. This is especially true when taking into account the reality that the future is digital, so organizations that adapt early can reap benefits of streamlined processes in the future and stay relevant.


Geenees makes it easy for you to start your in-kind growth journey - all it takes is a click of a button. Once set up we provide catered solutions to help enhance your in-kind giving campaigns. To get you started, here are just a few easy steps you can take once set up to enhance impact!


  1. Encourage families/individuals in need to choose products and services which are essential to all and donors can relate to the feeling and importance of needing them (ie. diapers for children).

  2. Ensure that every in-kind wishlist contains detailed information on the purpose of the donation, for instance whether it is for a soup kitchen program or a family of 5 in Ontario. This will help maintain transparency and trust with donors.

  3. Keep diverse giving options in all wishlists to make them more accessible for donors. This can be achieved by listing a variety of both products and services as in-kind wishes.

  4. Engage in post-donation communication by sending donors a thank you note through Geenees, including a picture wherever possible as it enhances the feeling of a tangible impact.

  5. Keep in-kind wishes updated so families are able to prioritize essential items they need at that specific point in time and donors are aware of any changes to the families situation and know that your organization is actively looking to make an impact.


There is an opportunity for nonprofits to leverage in-kind donations and secure a future of longevity, the question is, are you set up to take it?


Ready to start with the perfect in-kind giving platform? Learn more today by signing up for an info session or getting listed on Geenees!




Here for you,

Team Geenees




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