Four charities have launched an initiative to support businesses who want to donate goods and services to charity.
The Product Giving Alliance was created by: food distribution charity FareShare; software platform Charity Digital; InKind Direct, which distributes products such as toiletries, office supplies and clothes to charities; and International Health Partners (IHP), which distributes donated medicines and health supplies.
The initiative is asking businesses to donate goods and services to support charities during the crisis.
It said it “aims to give businesses confidence their donations will deliver measurable social impact, and highlight the environmental benefits of donating surplus stock, instead of sending it to landfill or recycling”.
It will be distributing donations as well as “champion” product giving, highlighting its benefits to businesses.
The four charities estimate that donations of goods and services to charity were worth £59m in 2019.
Donated services enable charities to use more resources on the frontline
The charities said that while businesses have been supporting charities during the crisis, they expect the need to increase once its economic consequences become fully apparent.
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “Businesses have stepped up during this crisis, donating enough stock for FareShare to double the amount of food we get onto the plates of those in need.
“But we know that when the restrictions are lifted, many more people will face financial insecurity. Giving surplus or donated products, or offering up valuable staff time and expertise, will continue to be a smart, cost-effective way for businesses to make a big impact in the communities in which they operate.”
Donated products and services also mean that charities can redirect more resources to the frontline.
Jonathan Chevallier, CEO of Charity Digital, said: “Donations of digital products and services can help charities meet this challenge by enabling them to operate more effectively and provide a better service to the people they support. Donations of every type of product and service will also help the charity sector weather this storm by saving money which can then be deployed to frontline services.”
The charities said that working in partnership will allow them to distribute donations more quickly and efficiently.
Rosanne Gray, CEO of In Kind Direct, said: “By joining forces we’ll be able to quickly signpost charities to get the products or services they need - whether that’s software, vital food, medical or household supplies to keep delivering their services.”