The Blog

Products with Purpose

15th Jun 2016

By Robin Boles, CEO at In Kind Direct.

Products with purpose- enabling charities to focus restricted funds on support, not supplies


In Kind Direct, one of The Prince’s Charities, is the official charity partner for this year’s International Festival for Business.


A woman and her daughter arrive at a refuge in Glasgow with nothing but the clothes on their backs.


A community devastated by flooding in Wales needs materials to clean and restore their property and possessions.


A young person leaving care in Sheffield needs basic utensils, clothing, pots and pans for his flat.


A family turns to a local food bank in East London for help, but weeks before, they stopped buying toothpaste and shampoo.


Every day charities struggle to raise sufficient funds to purchase essential items they need to run their services and support people in need. At the same time, manufacturers and retailers have the same products in surplus, either because they are excess to requirements or not fit to retail because of a slight cosmetic flaw in the product or packaging.


Companies often want to help, but need to clear out stock quickly and in bulk without having to field and vet hundreds of requests from charities. A small charity doesn’t have the time or expertise to spend building partnerships with companies and might only need a few cartons of washing powder rather than the full lorry load on offer.


Too often usable products end up going to waste.


Founded by the Prince of Wales in 1996, In Kind Direct runs a unique service redistributing surplus product from manufacturers and retailers to UK charities working at home and abroad. The service enables charities, large and small, to secure essential goods for their operations at a fraction of the usual cost. This frees up funds for their other work and reduces their need to fundraise.

In addition to saving charities money, products help relieve poverty and improve confidence and self-respect to the people helped by In Kind Direct’s local charity partners. This might be a young person leaving care in Sheffield given a decent shirt and shoes for a job interview or toothpaste and essential household products provided to a homeless family in Kent.

So far, In Kind Direct has made a powerful impact on communities throughout the UK through the redistribution of £150 million worth of surplus goods from 1,000 companies to 8,000 charities, diverting 18,000 tonnes of waste from landfill to charities in need.

Companies already donating include P&G, Amazon, Kimberly-Clark, Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Disney and many more.

But with an average 100 new charities registering every month to receive products from In Kind Direct, demand for the service is growing steadily.

Donating to In Kind Direct is a way to support not just one organisation, but thousands of grassroots charities tackling a huge range of issues, from child poverty to domestic abuse and disability.

Find out how you can support In Kind Direct on



Issy received a Disney Store ‘Frozen’ dress from In Kind Direct’s partner, Post Pals, after an intensive round of chemotherapy.

“In Kind Direct makes a world of difference to small charities like us. Without it, we would simply not be able to offer gifts to children going through intensive medical treatments that help to build their self-confidence, restore their faith in people, distract them during painful procedures and provide them with a form of escapism from their terrible ordeal.”

Vikki George, Founder and Trustee of Post Pals charity





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