2019 – Year in Review

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2019 Year in review

Happy New Year – now let’s do even more

2020 is here and it's the perfect time to reflect on the achievements of last year and highlight what we plan to deliver in the months ahead.

January 16 2020


2019 was a busy time at In Kind Direct, as we ushered in a new catalogue website in February, supported our 10,000th charitable organisation in October and bid farewell to our founding Chief Executive, Robin Boles LVO, who retired after 23 years in post. Her successor, Rosanne Gray joined us in December, ready to lead In Kind Direct into the new decade. 

We are grateful to have had the dedicated support of many #IKDPioneer companies, as well as 39 new businesses joining our community in 2019. Together, they helped us to distribute over £15.8 million in estimated retail value of goods. This included a wide range of essential products such as shampoo, toothpaste and laundry supplies, as well as those extras that help create meaningful moments such as toys, sportswear and luxury toiletries. Over 2,600 charities received products from us in 2019, which saw us shipping over 19,500 orders, diverting well over 1500 tonnes of goods from waste in the process. 

Last year we also launched two new exciting partnership schemes, enabling our charitable network to support their front-line service delivery more easilyDirectory of Social Change provides great funding tools, resources and training for charitable organisations. In July, our newest partnership with Enterprise began, bringing extra savings on vehicle hire, recognising that transport can be a barrier for people accessing support.  

2019 also saw the return of two of our most anticipated events - Our third Big Community Picnic in London welcomed hundreds of children and their carers for a day of fun, supported by a number of our generous donor companies. It was a magical day, and everyone took home big smiles, goodie bags and lifelong memories. Our charitable network covers the whole of the UK and we were delighted to share the day with groups from Buckinghamshire, Liverpool and Cardiff for the first time. In December, we once again joined forces with longstanding partner The Disney Store for the sixth year, to deliver over 7,500 Frozen 2 Olaf toys to 150 charities in time for A Disney Christmas. 

Products distributed by In Kind Direct not only help people and communities across the UK, they also help the charitable organisations who are relied upon every day to act as society’s safety net. This includes providing access to essentials like stationery, technology and cleaning supplies to help other charities reduce their overheads and create innovative projects. Our Impact Survey in March confirmed this when 74% told us they rely on In Kind Direct to simply keep going. At the same time, 94% of companies say donating to In Kind Direct helps them to meet Responsible Business objectives and all say their employees enjoy seeing products go to good causes. Read the full report here. 

Assessing social impact is increasingly important for charities and businesses alike. As part of our 20th Anniversary Manifesto in 2017, we committed to being more innovative in this area. This autumn we launched our Impact Assessment Guide in partnership with PwC. Free to download from our website, the step-by-step guide is designed to support charities wherever they are on their impact journey.  

Looking ahead, we want to help our growing charitable network to do even more for less, to meet the increasing needs of their communities in challenging times. We will be championing #ProductGiving and raise awareness of the role we are playing as a practical and proven spoke in the circular economy wheel.  

But don’t just take our word for it, listen to what our partners have to say… 

We have been able to support our Foodbank clients with more than just food. When you can't afford food, hygiene products, sanitary products and household cleaning products are luxuries not essentials. My heart is to make sure every client coming to us receives everything they need to help them feel value, worth and give them some dignity back in their immediate crisis. 

-Ballymena Foodbank, County Antrim 

The impact that using In Kind Direct has had on our students has been immeasurable, the boost in self-confidence being able to play football in new boots or having branded toiletries to help promote personal hygiene. The ability to stock our playroom with toys that we would not be able to afford otherwise is unbelievable. The money we have saved on general household times used around our building has allowed us to spend more on new activities for the students adding another layer of the direct positive impact that In Kind Direct facilitates. Thank you. 

 -Marland School, Devon 

If you work for a company that makes or sells consumer products, visit our website and commit to our vision for a world where no usable product goes to waste and everyone has access to life’s essentials. We invite you to join the Product Giving Revolution and help us achieve even more in 2020 by contacting Maya, Chris and Ellie at donations@inkinddirect.org today.