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Identify what's helpful — and don't feel obligated to accept everything

In-kind contributions can be a valuable source of support for nonprofits of any size. If you accept in-kind contributions, keep these dos and don'ts in mind.


  • Identify in-kind donations that could benefit your nonprofit (such as professional assistance from a lawyer or accountant, advertising space or office supplies)
  • Accept donations of helpful goods, services and time
  • Build relationships with in-kind donors
  • Create an in-kind gift acceptance policy that identifies what gifts are appropriate
  • Sign gift agreements with in-kind donors where relevant
  • Accurately record the market value of donated goods and services
  • Follow local rules or regulations for reporting in-kind contributions on tax forms
  • Thank donors of in-kind gifts and provide them with any relevant tax information
  • Evaluate the impact of in-kind donations on your organization


  • Accept gifts that will be more trouble to manage than they're worth (such as real estate or live animals, in some cases)
  • Be afraid to decline in-kind gifts that aren't useful (such as services you don't need)
  • Feel that you must accept in-kind services you find unsatisfactory
  • Overestimate or underestimate the cash value of in-kind gifts
  • Exclude in-kind donations from your budget
  • Forget to acknowledge or report in-kind donations



MissionBox editorial content is offered as guidance only, and is not meant, nor should it be construed as, a replacement for certified, professional expertise.



Grant Thornton: Gifts in kind: New look at conventional revenue stream by Jennifer Hoffman and Dennis Morrone (2014)Karen Eber Davis Consulting: Can your nonprofit obtain more income? The 7 sources



Baltimore-based writer and educator