Charity Awards 2024

In Kind Direct

Brokering donations of products from companies to charities

The most vulnerable in society are facing a cost-of-living crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic, where daily essentials such as toiletries, sanitary products and nappies are becoming unaffordable for many. In Kind Direct acts as a broker between corporate partners and charitable organisations to supply nearly 250,000 people each week with the products they need.

In Kind DirectIn Kind Direct reacted rapidly to the challenges of recent years, developing a number of product appeal campaigns to engage and ignite action from existing donating partners and attract donations from new companies.

These campaigns included the Spaces Places appeal for personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and hand wash to ensure that charities, community groups, schools and nurseries could reopen safely after lockdown.

In spring 2021, the charity partnered with Save the Children to launch the Summer of Play appeal, securing donations of children’s books, arts and crafts, scooters and outdoor activity equipment. And in the winter, it launched a Warmth this Winter campaign appealing for bedding, blankets, gloves and scarfs.

These initiatives saw the charity distribute over 33,600 orders last year (7% more than in 2020) to 3,198 charitable organisations including community centres, refuges, schools, scout groups and foodbanks. The value of the products distributed was just over £29m and it increased the number of people it helped from 215,000 to 249,000 per week.

In Kind Direct regularly gathers feedback through a network survey to help develop engaging product appeal campaigns and strong relationships with corporate partners. This helps it to understand what charities and companies want, securing greater consistency and a range of product supplies that meet the needs of communities while also helping the companies to fulfil their corporate social responsibility and sustainability goals.

The charity recently developed a five-year plan to treble its impact from pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2025. This will mean generating savings for the sector of £45m, benefitting 7,800 charitable organisations and improving the lives of over 600,000 people every week.

Awards judge Ruth Davison said that In Kind Direct made an interesting decision to change its model during the pandemic in a bid to respond more effectively to what charities needed in the crisis.

“They used to take what corporates have as surplus and find a charity that wants it, but now they’ve flipped so that they start with what the end charity needs, and see themselves as a broker.

“They’ve also moved into things like sanitary products and all sorts of non-consumables. It feels like an evolution.”

CC Reg no. 1052679