The Business Case for Product Philanthropy

The Business Case for Product Philanthropy

Donating unwanted inventory to charity is not only good business practice, it's an effective corporate social responsibility strategy, a report from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs argues. According to The Business Case for Product Philanthropy (63 pages, PDF), the charitable tax deduction makes gifts of undamaged returns, slow-selling merchandise, discontinued models, and mislabeled items more profitable on a comparative cost-benefit basis than disposing of them, liquidating them at steep discounts, or even making cash donations. In-kind donations also can help boost a company's brand image, employee loyalty, and CSR credentials. Just as important, if not more so, the report argues, are the significant socioeconomic benefits that product philanthropy generates in the form of savings on household expenditures for low- and middle-income groups.