When office chair manufacturer Seating, Inc. was left with some overstock, Doug Hart, one of the company owners, searched for a way to put the chairs to use for non-profit organizations that could really use them. In business since 1989, family-owned and operated Nunda, NY-based Seating, Inc. builds quality commercial seating, made to customer order, in three weight capacities. Included are chairs for desks, training rooms, guest areas, computers, and multipurpose.
Then Hart came upon the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources (NAEIR), the largest gifts-in-kind nonprofit in the United States.
“We connect companies looking to donate products with nonprofits who can benefit from them,” explained Gary C. Smith, president and CEO of NAEIR.
NAEIR’s specialty is receiving donations of excess inventory from corporations like Seating, Inc., and then redistributing them to member schools, churches, and charities. The corporations receive a tax deduction equal to up to twice the products’ cost. The nonprofits pay only shipping and handling, plus a modest membership fee.
For companies like Seating, Inc., it’s a smart way to put excess inventory to good use, without discounting valuable product. And it allows those companies to connect their products with people who can truly use them.
“With the connections NAEIR has to churches, schools, civic, and senior organizations, it seemed like a great way to get our chairs into the hands of people who might appreciate professional office seating,” says Hart.
The chairs will appear on NAEIR’s website, along with other product donations available to member nonprofits. To date, NAEIR has received donations of excess inventory from more than 8,000 U.S. corporations and redistributed more than $3 billion in products to nonprofits and schools.
By donating new, excess inventory to NAEIR, businesses like Seating, Inc. can earn a federal income tax deduction under Section 170 (e)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
The IRS Code states that regular C corporations may deduct the cost of the inventory donated, plus half the difference between cost and fair market value. Deductions may be up to twice-cost. Companies that are an S corporation, partnership, LLC or sole proprietorship qualify for a straight cost deduction—which could still be more than they would make by going through a liquidator.
Usually there are no restrictions on how much a company donates. Donations may be as small as one box or as large as dozens of truckloads.
For companies like Seating, Inc., the upside of donating office chairs to NAEIR goes beyond just the monetary benefit.
“My company has deep family roots, so knowing products we put our heart into could be put to good use by the non profits who receive them means the world to us,” says Hart.