Tracking In-Kind Donations for Nonprofits: What You Need To Know

In-kind donations are goods or services donated to a nonprofit organization to support its work. In-kind gifts can be anything from office supplies to professional equipment. Like monetary donations, nonprofits need to keep track of in-kind gifts to ensure they maintain accurate records and appropriately recognize donors.

Why Track In-Kind Donations?

Depending on how your organization approaches financial reporting, you may be required to record and report in-kind gifts. If your nonprofit adheres to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), all in-kind contributions should be captured and documented alongside monetary donations.

Some nonprofits may be required to meet this standard by state law or by conditions laid down by a funder. Even if your nonprofit is not subject to GAAP, recording in-kind gifts increases financial transparency, clarity and accountability. Plus, donors may request a written acknowledgment of their in-kind donation for tax purposes.

While tracking in-kind donations may seem like an extra step, maintaining accurate records doesn't need to be complicated. You just need to find a system that works well for you and your organization. If you accept monetary donations, work with volunteers or maintain a database of constituents, chances are, you already have, or are thinking about investing in, a nonprofit CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform.

Choosing the Right CRM

The best way to track in-kind donations is through a nonprofit donation system–or nonprofit CRM. A CRM is a platform specifically designed to keep track of all engagement with your supporters and donors, including donations. Along with financial gifts, nonprofit databases can be used to track in-kind contributions. 

Choosing the right nonprofit CRM is crucial. You should look for a platform that streamlines every aspect of your operation, from volunteer management to donation tracking. In addition, a robust nonprofit donation system or database should be:

  • Intuitive: The system should be easy to use and understand. It should also be easy to input data and track nonprofit donations.
  • Flexible: The system should have the flexibility to support your organization's entire operation, from managing events to tracking gifts and volunteer hours.
  • Secure: If you're storing confidential donor, staff and volunteer information, you must ensure that only authorized users can access your system.

Before you invest in CRM to support tracking in-kind donations, think about the different steps of the process. You should look for a system that can support the donation process from start to finish.

Accepting Donations

Your CRM should make it easy for supporters to donate in-kind contributions. GivePulse's platform allows nonprofits to easily create donation drives to request gifts-in-kind, such as supplies, material goods or other donations.


Make sure that your CRM allows you to track giving and measure your nonprofit impact. For in-kind gifts, that typically means recording what each supporter donated to your organization, providing donation receipts and running regular reports to ensure you're meeting your goals. 

If you're running a one-off donation drive, reports can help you track what's being donated in real-time and adjust your targets as necessary. If everyone is donating the same item, consider removing it from your requested items to bring attention to additional needs.

Donor Management

Ideally, your CRM will record more than just giving history. GivePulse's one-stop database allows you to track donor information, volunteer hours, event attendance and more. The more data you have, the better you can understand who your donors are and what motivates them.

Track In-Kind Donations with GivePulse

Tracking in-kind gifts is crucial for your nonprofit's operations and GivePulse makes it easy to manage. Our platform is designed to support every aspect of nonprofit philanthropy, from memberships and events to in-kind gifts and reporting. 

If you're looking to raise funds or gather supplies, GivePulse has a full suite of tools available to support crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, ongoing donations and donation drives for in-kind gifts. 

Looking for an intuitive, flexible and secure system to track gifts and engage supporters? Schedule a demo with GivePulse today.



About GivePulse

GivePulse's mission is to enable everyone in the world to participate and engage in lifting their community to new heights. We do so by providing a platform to list, find, organize and measure the impact of service-learning, community engagement, philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and volunteerism.

Founded in 2012 in Austin, Texas, GivePulse works with 650,000+ groups, including colleges and universities, nonprofits, businesses, K-12/school districts and cities and municipalities. Together, we connect millions of people in an effort to create positive social change.

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