Would you pay $71.27 for a bottle of water?

When I started reading the August 23, 2012 issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy a couple of weeks ago, this ad example caught my eye.

In the nonprofit world, we’ve known for a long time that cash goes a lot further in meeting needs than does many of the well-intentioned in-kind donations. I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories about items that are shipped to third world countries, but end up sitting in warehouses somewhere because they’re not what the recipients really needed.

This ad was submitted to a contest run by The Center for International Disaster Information and U.S. Agency for International Development. It’s the first major effort I’ve heard about that addresses this topic head on – and uses it as an educational moment for our donors. In-kind donations may seem like a good thing, but they can be very expensive for the recipient organization when you now have to spend money to store, ship and move the items. Visit www.psaid.org to learn more about this contest – and see other ads.

When you look at your organization, what issues could use an educational moment like this one? Can you come up with a creative way to send the message to your supporters?

Looking forward to hearing about the ideas you come up with!

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