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Free Supplies? Not Too Good to Be True
Free Supplies for Your Church or School? Gifts in Kind Organizations Deliver.

Contact: Joanne Levine, 847-327-9530

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill., Feb. 18, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- It's a given: with budgets tighter than ever, churches and schools need to be creative in doing more with less. Yet many dismiss one very real resource because they're convinced there must be "a catch." That resource: gifts-in-kind organizations. These organizations, collect donations of new merchandise from U.S. corporations and redistribute it to its not-for-profit members, including churches and schools, for free.

Free materials. Office and art supplies. Janitorial supplies. Sporting goods. Plus, tools, toys, software, books and media, personal care items, party goods, and more.

Churches and schools can browse catalogs of donated supplies and request what they need, saving on supplies and limiting churches and teachers' out-of-pocket costs.

What's the catch? There isn't one. Typically, members pay a modest annual membership fee, plus nominal shipping and handling costs. That's it. It ends up costing churches a fraction of what it would to purchase the same supplies through conventional channels.

Who's doing the donating, and what’s in in for them? Companies like Microsoft, Stanley Tools, 3M, Rubbermaid, Rand McNally, Reebok, Gillette, Xerox, SC Johnson, Louisville Slugger, Hallmark and thousands of others participate.

According to Gary C. Smith of the oldest gifts in kind organization www.NAEIR.org, "The rules are simple. Participating organizations must agree to act in accordance with IRC section 170(e)(3), which states that merchandise must be used for the care of the ill, needy or minors. It cannot be bartered, traded or sold. The merchandise can be given directly to qualifying individuals served by an organization or used in the administration of the organization."

In these days of slashed funding and shrinking budgets, the question isn't if gifts-in-kind organizations are too good to be true. The question is: if your church hasn't explored this option yet, what are you waiting for?