05 Dec How to Distribute Good360 Donations with Intention and Purpose
Our mission at Good360 is to transform lives by empowering nonprofits to make a greater impact through product donations. And we do this at scale, getting more than $300 million worth of critically needed goods into the hands of thousands of charities each year.
None of this would happen if our corporate donors didn’t trust us to properly collect and distribute these goods. We make it easy for companies to make in-kind donations by pre-vetting qualified nonprofit organizations and ensuring that the products directly help people in need.
This means anything we can do to help our nonprofit members properly distribute donations strengthens our entire ecosystem. We call this the “Circle of Good.” We help corporations responsibly distribute extra inventory, while helping nonprofits access goods that help them deliver on their missions. Meanwhile, goods that might otherwise go to waste are given new life and people who are facing challenging personal circumstances get products that they really need. Everyone wins.
With that goal in mind, here are some best practices for our partner nonprofits to follow as they aim to make the biggest impact possible, while complying with our giving guidelines.
Donations should directly serve people in need
At the heart of Good360’s operations is the promise that every donation will land directly in the hands of people who need it most.
Donated goods may not be used to reward nonprofit employees or volunteers, even though we love to recognize these people for their hard work. Donations may never be sold, exchanged, traded or bartered in any way.
Nonprofit organizations should never accept anything of value in exchange for our donations, including other donated goods. This means charities cannot use Good360 products to support raffles, auctions or other fundraising activities.
For more information on our compliance rules and regulations, click here.
Keeping track of donated goods is critical
To ensure that donations are reaching the right people, we require all nonprofit members to keep an accurate and timely record of each distribution — which items were donated when and to whom.
For most charities, this means collecting recipient name, type of goods, quantity received, date and location when distributing items, and maintaining this information in a spreadsheet format, database or third-party software. Good360 may ask for quarterly reports and also make random audits to ensure compliance with record-keeping.
Keeping accurate data on your distributions will also help you tell a better story when it comes time to talk about the impact you’re making in your community, for example, in your annual report or monthly newsletter.
(Click here to view a copy of the template we ask our nonprofit partners to keep as they receive donations.)
Be intentional about your giving
Nonprofit organizations that register with Good360 have access to a huge variety of goods that they can request and distribute to their local communities. These items are available through our online marketplace and other channels, such as our retail store pickup program and our Direct Truckload program.
While our members can and do receive many different kinds of donations, from personal hygiene products to small appliances to apparel, our goal is always to ensure that the products are going to people who can truly benefit from them. This reduces the amount of waste that can occur with product philanthropy and allows everyone involved to make the biggest impact possible.
As you’re thinking about what products to obtain from our online catalog, consider how the items will be used by your community and whether the items will make a difference in the lives of your constituents. While getting a shipment of donated scooters sounds like a lot of fun, it may not be the right product to distribute if your charity primarily serves the elderly.
Think about how you’re going to share the impact you’re making
With every distribution, it’s important to remember to collect details about how the donations are being used and who’s receiving them so you can tell that story later. For example, you may want to task someone in your organization with interviewing recipients and learning about their personal stories and the impact that the donations will have on their families. Consider having a photographer or videographer on hand to document your donation events.
You may also want to create a formal intake process for developing stories for publication. For example, at Good360, we collect nonprofit stories on our Impact Stories page by asking our nonprofit partners to fill out a questionnaire.
More and more nonprofits are realizing that good storytelling can help them attract more supporters and volunteers to their cause. As you distribute goods to your community, consider how you can set yourself up to tell a better story around the impact you’re making. (Here are some of our best tips for creating a story-driven nonprofit organization.)
At the end of the day, we have the same goal as you do: We want to transform lives for the better. Together, we can do that by being intentional and purposeful about how we distribute donations, ensuring that they always go directly to help people in need.