Let's Talk Levers: In-Kind

Let's Talk Levers: In-Kind

By: Emily Kane Miller

The Ethos Lever Model

The Ethos Lever Model utilizes fourteen different “Levers” by which an organization can make an impact. Each Lever serves a real opportunity to create value - but when strategically pulled together, result in a powerful and cohesive Social Impact strategy. See all 14 Levers here.

In this blog series, the Ethos team breaks down each Lever - complete with expanded definitions and real-life examples - so you can best understand how to pull the right Levers through your organization's social impact work. 


Cutting a check is only one of many ways companies can get involved in their communities. Perhaps the greatest misconception in social impact is that giving or doing good is possible only through monetary donations. In reality, there are a variety of ways to make an impact in your community beyond simply signing a check. In-kind donations, or donations of non-monetary goods and services goods or services, can generate significant positive impact. 

Maximize In-Kind Donations: 

  • In-Kind: Donating non-monetary contributions of beneficial goods or services.
  • This is an important area to focus for many organizations. Start by identifying key partnerships that are mission and values aligned. 
  • Collect thorough feedback to address any barriers – if partners can’t successfully deploy the donated product, consider new partners for future activations.
  • Shows the value but double clicking with partnerships to see the impact and how it is going in there end 

In-KindThree Real-Life Examples

  1. Lane BryantLane Bryant is an American retail women’s clothing store with a focus on plus-size clothing. The company was founded in 1904 with a focus on maternity clothing. 

Lane Bryant has empowered women since 1904, making Dress for Success an ideal partner by helping women discover the confidence and power that comes from believing in themselves. In 2019, Lane Bryant joined Dress for Success to create a multi-faceted national partnership to mobilize their retail customers and employees. Dress for Success empowers women to obtain economic independence through annual financial donations, event sponsorships and in-kind donations of plus-sized clothing. Lane Bryant and Cacique Intimates are proud to sponsor  Dress for Success. 

Lane Bryant’s Dress for Success has mobilized more than 25,000 volunteers around the world, served 1 million+ women, and reached women in 160 cities across30 countries. 

2. Bayer: Bayer is the largest multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company. It develops innovative pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare products, agricultural chemicals, seeds and biotechnology products. It's Products contribute to the health of people and plants. 

Bayer was the first pharmaceutical company to successfully implement Kits4Life for its U.S. clinical trial sites, a first-of-its kind program to enable donations of unused clinical trial supplies for humanitarian aid. This collaboration is strengthening healthcare delivery efforts by expanding distribution of supplies to under-resourced settings, as well as closing the healthcare gap worldwide, impacting thousands of lives. As a result of Bayer’s and other sponsor efforts, more than 14,000 people around the world have received vitally needed medical supplies.

Here is a video to learn more about the Kits4Life initiative. 

3. Clif BarClif Bar is a purposefully crafted and plant-based product that produces energy foods and drinks.  

Clif Bar has been partnering with local and national organizations by delivering food to families in need. They have doubled their donations to 14 million bars to feed families that have been experiencing food insecurity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Clif Bar opened its employee cafe to donate up to 450 meals per week to be distributed in the community. The company wanted to help the community as food insecurity has increased by 200 percent during the pandemic.

Clif Bar has donated an additional 7 million bars for local and national organizations, ensuring food can get to families and children in need. Clif Bar is grateful to partner with the following organizations to make their in-kind donations distributions possible:

  • California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
  • Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Oakland Unified School District (Calif.)
  • The Store (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
  • FoodLink of Tulare County (Calif.)
  • Food banks in up to 25 states targeting lower-income communities that also face high unemployment and homelessness.
  • In addition, bar donations will be shipped to food banks near Clif Bar & Company’s HQ in the San Francisco Bay Area; Tulare County, Calif., where many agricultural workers reside; and near its bakeries in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Twin Falls, Idaho.

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