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Harnessing Transformation: From In-Kind Donations to Revenue Generation

Discover how Amazon Business' Donation Driver allows you to gain visibility into revenue generated from In-Kind Donations.

In the realm of nonprofit sustainability, innovation often lies in the ability to unearth new avenues for funding while fortifying relationships with supporters. According to the Giving USA 2023 Report, over 75 percent of the surveyed Gen Z and Millennial donors reported preferring giving online. Furthermore, according to a recent study by Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, when asked how valuable various types of giving are to American society, around 80 percent of Americans believed that in-kind giving was very or somewhat important. With the number of donors declining in past years, it is imperative to provide donation options that are convenient and align with giving preferences.

  • 75%

    of donors prefer to give online

  • 80%

    of donors believe in-kind giving

    is very or somewhat important

While in-kind donations are seen as important, there have been historical challenges associated with soliciting in-kind donations that include:

  • Logistical Complexities: Managing the collection, transportation, and storage of physical items can be complex and resource-intensive, especially for organizations without a well-established distribution system.
  • Donor recognition: Accepting in-kind donations and acknowledging the donation value through a tax deductible receipt is a burden placed upon the organization. Furthermore, how organizations record this revenue associated with in-kind contributions can vary leading to potential confusion.
  • Matching Needs: Aligning the donated items with the organization's specific needs can be challenging. Donors might provide items that are not immediately useful, leading to additional efforts to redirect or repurpose the donations.
  • Administrative Burden: Managing the tracking, cataloging, and reporting of in-kind donations demands administrative efforts that might divert resources from core activities.

Recent times have seen an emergence of new solutions that can help simplify the in-kind donation process. Once such solution includes Amazon Business’ Donation Driver.

“Amazon Business’ Donation Driver solution is a unique value proposition focused on solving a tentpole nonprofit challenge; how to innovate and expand donor retention and donor acquisition strategies. Donation Driver offers donors a chance to engage with the nonprofit mission beyond a recurring cash contribution ultimately adding a sophistacated wrinkle to the the cash solicitation engagement strategy...“

— Sean Ullman - Amazon Business Customer Advisor and previous nonprofit leader

The Revenue-Conversion Workflow: A Game-Changing Advancement


Donation Driver is an innovative solution introduced by Amazon Business that transforms the traditional concept of in-kind donations for nonprofits. It allows nonprofits to curate wish lists of items from Amazon Business's vast selection, enabling donors to quickly select needed items and eliminate the need to go to physical locations to drop off donations. This groundbreaking approach not only deepens donor engagement but also empowers nonprofits to leverage in-kind donations as revenue streams, driving financial sustainability and mission impact.


Here's how this process unfolds:

  1. Shaping the "Wish List" Strategy: Nonprofits curate strategic wish lists featuring items that encapsulate the essence of their cause. Each item isn't merely an inventory entry but a representation of how supporters can directly contribute to the mission's advancement.
  2. Elevating Donor Engagement to New Heights: Donors, motivated by their commitment to the cause, now have the opportunity to do more than donate items – they can be catalysts for financial growth. Donors can now align their in-kind donations with the nonprofit’s strategic objectives.
  3. Shifting In-Kind to In-Revenue: The crux of Donation Driver's brilliance is its ability to convert in-kind generosity into tangible revenue. When donors check out, the purchase is completed as a restricted cash donation for the identified item. This shift isn't just a transactional change; it's a strategic maneuver that empowers nonprofits demonstrate how they are using cash donations.

“...Additionally, with product purchase as a entry point to the mission, new donors can more easily enter the donor engagement lifecycle program, increasing the efficacy of targeted marketing outreach. The unique Donation Driver workflow turns procurment, a historical cost center, into an innovative revenue driver.“

— Sean Ullman - Amazon Business Customer Advisor and previous nonprofit leader

Redefining Success: The Revenue-Conversion Advantage

Amazon Business' Donation Driver stands as a testament to innovation that transcends boundaries. By turning in-kind donations into revenue, it reshapes the nonprofit landscape with:

  • Strategic Empowerment: Donors evolve into active partners, steering their contributions toward specific goals, igniting a new level of engagement.
  • Adaptive Resource Allocation: Revenue-generating in-kind donations offer nonprofits agility in directing funds to where they can make the most significant impact.
  • Strengthening Bonds: The revenue-conversion strategy elevates the donor-nonprofit relationship, nurturing long-term commitment.

“Implementing Donation Driver is one of the things I’m most proud of. Our collaboration with Amazon Business has been a great marriage of Amazon Business listening and understanding the zoo’s vision, and working with the zoo to implement a seamless website donation experience that remains true to the zoo’s mission.“

— Chloe Smallwood, Director of Marketing, Chattanooga Zoo”

A Vision Realized: The Path Forward with Amazon Business Donation Driver

Amazon Business's Donation Driver isn't just about re-imagining donations; it's about reshaping the landscape of nonprofit operations. It challenges nonprofits to think beyond immediate contributions, to embrace a strategic mindset that leverages in-kind donations as catalysts for sustainable growth. With this solution, we want to partner with nonprofits to tap into the unexplored potential of revenue-generating in-kind donations and forge a path toward a future where every contribution becomes a stepping stone towards lasting impact.

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