How do you handle your in-kind donation requests? If you’re a business owner you are probably familiar with those last minute requests at 4:00PM on Friday asking for a freebie at their Saturday morning event. How frustrating, right? What if there was a fast and efficient way to handle this kind of client request and still gain their business or even better, impress them. I’m no expert, but we like to allocate all of our in-kind donations annually in Q1. We do so by collecting all of our requests using a charity application throughout the year. We figure if they want the equipment for free it should be a well deserved non-profit company/individual and the application helps us distinguish need. This non-profit will take the time to explain their needs, how our donations will make a difference, and who they serve. They will also be planning well in advance not asking for a last minute freebie to throw into their event plans and throw us in a tailspin trying to accommodate them at the last minute.
Once chosen, we let the “winners” know the exciting news and are better prepared to handle their orders, well in advance! Anyone who fits our criteria can apply and it gives those last minute client calls the incentive to apply for next year. Simply telling them NO or replying with the dreaded “UNFORTUNATELY… “ is never a good feeling. I like to give them alternatives and of course follow up by asking if they need referrals for other event services while I’ve got them on the line. I might not be able to help them this time, but they will remember I provided them with great referrals and customer service.