Product Giving Alliance launched as charities urge businesses to donate goods and services to help people in need during the coronavirus crisis

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22 May 2020

Four charities, Charity Digital, FareShare, In Kind Direct and International Health Partners, have joined together to launch the Product Giving Alliance. In the last year alone, the charities estimate, together, the value of goods and services they provided to charities supporting vulnerable people was worth more than £59m.

“Giving surplus or donated products, or offering up valuable staff time and expertise will continue to be a smart, cost-effective way for businesses to make a big impact in the communities in which they operate.”

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare CEO

The alliance is now calling on British businesses to make donating goods and services a key part of their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In-kind gifts and donations of food, medical supplies, hygiene and cleaning products, software and specialist support have never been more in demand from frontline charities, and it is expected this need will remain high in the aftermath of the crisis, when more people will face financial hardship, and charities will be under increased strain.

The Product Giving Alliance is made up of:

  • Charity Digital is the UK’s only discounted and donated software platform which provides software services, telecoms, PC hardware and accessories to charities
  • FareShare, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, which supplies over 11,000 charities with surplus food from the food industry
  • In Kind Direct, the UK charity providing life’s essentials including toiletries, cleaning products, clothes, toys and office supplies to charities working at home and overseas
  • International Health Partners (IHP), which distributes donated medicines and health supplies to disaster hit and vulnerable communities worldwide.

Product Giving Alliance members will work in partnership to meet the needs of the voluntary sector, both during the coronavirus pandemic and in the longer term. The alliance aims to give businesses confidence their donations will deliver measurable social impact, and highlight the environmental benefits of donating surplus stock, instead of sending it to landfill or recycling.

Charity Digital CEO, Jonathan Chevallier, said: “Sadly, it’s clear that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic UK charities will lose a substantial amount of their voluntary income whilst experiencing increased demand for an extended period to time. Donations of digital products and services can help charities meet this challenge by enabling them to operate more effectively and provide a better service to the people they support.  Donations of every type of product and service will also help the charity sector weather this storm by saving money which can then be deployed to frontline services.”

FareShare CEO, Lindsay Boswell, said:  “Businesses have stepped up during this crisis, donating enough stock for FareShare to double the amount of food we get onto the plates of those in need. But we know that when the restrictions are lifted many more people will face financial insecurity. Giving surplus or donated products, or offering up valuable staff time and expertise will continue to be a smart, cost-effective way for businesses to make a big impact in the communities in which they operate.”

In Kind Direct CEO, Rosanne Gray, said: “During this crisis, the need to keep clean, well and connected has never been greater. Communities that were vulnerable before lockdown will continue to be affected long after most people’s lives have returned to normal. By joining forces we’ll be able to quickly signpost charities to get the  products or services they need - whether that’s software, vital food, medical or household supplies to keep delivering their services.”

International Health Partners CEO, Adele Paterson, said: “Encouraging businesses to consider donating goods and services, and streamlining that process as far as possible will make a real difference to the charities Product Giving Alliance members supply, and to the millions of vulnerable people, both here in the UK and abroad who rely on those organisations for support.”