When In Kind Direct was launched 20 years ago, its ethos was to make it easy for companies to donate the products charities needed every day to serve their beneficiaries – from laundry and cleaning products to maintain their facilities to toiletries and clothing to give to service users. The spirit has very much remained the same 20 years on, with more companies (over 1,000) and charities (8,500 to date) benefiting from fantastic product donations than ever before.
Over the years, we have seen an increased sense of responsibility and accountability from our corporate partners. More want to contribute to the environment and communities in which their employees and customers live and work. Many recognise product giving as an effective practice to make a positive difference to society, as well as being a smart way to save costs and clear unwanted stock responsibly. The measurable impact generated is giving companies the confidence to give products more frequently and in larger volumes. Some are taking this a step further by planning their product philanthropy activities, allocating a percentage of the production run to charitable donations, incorporating product giving into the business model and community engagement strategy.
Among its many generous supporters, In Kind Direct is pleased to highlight two prime examples of companies which have made a commitment to donate products on a regular basis.
The Premier Paper Group is the UK’s leading independent paper merchant. In April 2016 Premier Paper made its first donation to In Kind Direct and then pledged to donate 2 pallets monthly. This means In Kind Direct is able to provide a consistent supply of A4 paper to its charity network, a product which is always in high demand and often hard to come by, especially of such high quality. For Premier Paper, In Kind Direct takes away the complexity of being able to support hundreds of small grassroots organisations spread out across the UK, and allows Premier Paper to reach more charities than it could have done on its own.
“This paper is just great – being a charity-run pre-school, funds are always an issue and we use a substantial amount of paper weekly for things like registers, posters, wall displays, children’s records, planning and more! The quality of the paper is superb and a brilliant saving on even the cheapest paper. We cannot express enough how grateful we are to Premier Paper Group.” Rachel, Administrator at Bacton Under Fives in Suffolk.
In another product category, Essity, which manufactures Bodyform feminine hygiene products, made a significant commitment earlier this year to donate 200,000 female sanitary packs to In Kind Direct over the next 3 years. Concerned by the recent news that “period poverty” was a growing phenomenon across the UK and encouraged by its successful product donation relationship with In Kind Direct, Essity decided to step up its already generous donations of surplus and plan regular product donations. This will provide the consistency in supply required by In Kind Direct’s charity partners and ensure that women, and particularly girls, from all backgrounds have access to feminine hygiene products.
Half of 2,000 consumers responding to a recent survey by MediaCom said they would be willing to pay more for a brand that supports a cause which is important to them and 63 per cent said they believe brands have a responsibility to give back to society. Planned giving provides another option for companies to make a positive difference through giving what they know best – the products they make and sell.