In-Kind Donations Can Help Everyone

Supply Things & Provide ServicesAs a grassroots organizer, perhaps you've concluded there isn't a whole lot more help you can get "in-kind." If so, you may want to rethink this issue. Broadening one's view of the benefits, in-kind donations are an opportunity to make participation more fun and more socially reinforcing both for the volunteers involved and for the community as a whole. Weaving in-kind donors into the mix of organizing work offers added value in the form of strengthened bonds of community solidarity.

In-kind donations spread goodwill and reinforce the idea that voting activism reflects a community's values. And, as a reciprocal benefit, giving can cement the reputation of a community leader or a small business in a way that benefits everyone. In addition to the usual things activists get donated, the range of possible in-kind donations to grassroots groups could fill a phone book.

Growing Need for In-Kind Donations

Large scale organizing involves sponsoring events and meetings, holding fundraisers, establishing an office and related capabilities, conducting trainings, purchasing equipment and supplies, and much more. A great many necessary THINGS and SERVICES can be donated in-kind.



Pillows for weary activists' heads. Sometimes campaigns or pushes by activists groups, by whatever name, involve volunteers coming from far enough away to need a place to sleep… that doesn't cost $100 a night.

Video editing & production (for online & social media use, and for meetings, volunteer recruiting and training programs). Also, to provide PSAs to local TV and cable service providers.

Website development. Support could be helpful in improving site pages carrying out key functions (volunteer recruitment, donation solicitation), in improving support for and encouragement of media coverage, and in burnishing a group's credibility.

Collateral and program materials development. (Posters, fliers, handouts, mailing enclosures, POP & countertop materials, etc.) Printing may be donated independently or in a package.

Piggy-back on your business, group or personal communications. Enclosures in your mailings, announcements at meetings, posting on bulletin boards, permission to post in windows of stores, restaurants and the like, etc.

Press relations help (not spin, but practical help in getting the attention of the media).

Legal services & advice. For example, to gain access to restricted activity facilities and spaces for the purposes of canvassing and similar face-to-face organizing.

Medical, dental, or vision emergency assistance (one-off medical, dental or vision problems that would sideline a paid organizer if not covered quickly).

Advertising provided free to support organizing (electronic media PSAs, signage, POP materials, billboards, ads in print publications, ads in online publications or online websites for any local organization, including supportive businesses).

IT services and data specialists may help groups make more effective use of software and information management systems to reach more prospective voters.

Published: October 2021
Revised: June 2023

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