In-Kind Donations

What are in-kind donations?

An in-kind donation is a non-monetary contribution given to an organization in the form of goods, services, or tangible assets. Instead of money, donors provide items like clothing, furniture, books, food, electronics, cars, or offer services such as legal assistance, marketing support, or graphic design. They can also donate the use of facilities or vehicles for transportation purposes. In-kind donations are valuable resources that support organizations and individuals without requiring direct financial expenditure. Donors contribute based on their expertise, available resources, or the specific needs of the recipient.


Set up your CRM to record in-kind donations

The following guidelines are general and applicable to all sites. However, Canadian sites should create the following through the CDN settings page. See below.


Step 1: Financial Type

In-kind donations should be recorded with a unique “in-kind” financial type, this way you can track those donations separately, and exclude them from the contribution reports (so as not to confuse things when you try to report on actual monetary gifts).

To create a new financial type, go to: Administer > CiviContribute > Financial Types, click on “Add Financial Type,” and name it “In-kind.” 

Although in-kind donations are tax deductible, in order to avoid confusion with end-of-year receipts and other CRM calculations, it might be easier to mark this financial type as non-deductible.

Step 2: Custom Fields

For proper recording, and in order to be able to add the item’s details on thank you letters etc., it is recommended to add a set of custom fields that will be associated with in-kind donations.

To do so, go to Administer > Customize Data and Screens > Custom Fields, click on “Add Set of Custom Fields,” and make sure to limit its use under “Used for” to Contributions > In-kind. Once the set is created, add some fields like: “Description of property,” “Appraised by,” “Original Cost,” or any other information you would like to record. Now, those fields will automatically pop up on the CRM when recording a donation with in-kind financial type. Those fields will also be available as tokens when sending a letter for that particular contribution.


Canadian Sites:

In order to create the financial type and the custom fields, just go to: Administer > CiviContribute > CDN Tax Receipts, then click on “Setup in-kind receipts” under System Options, and hit “Submit.” This will automatically add all the necessary settings to your site.


Record in-kind donations

When receiving an in-kind donation, just click to add a contribution, set the financial type as in-kind, and describe the property donated. Note that there is no need to add a monetary value in the regular “Amount” field.