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April 16, 2014

Survey of Framing Hope Member Agencies:
Organizational Impact of the Framing Hope Program*
Executive Summary

(Beth Gazley and Gordon Abner)

Gifts In Kind International (GIKI) is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. In 2010, Gifts In Kind International facilitated the distribution of over $350 million worth of donations from their corporate partners, which includes over half of the Fortune 100 companies. GIKI assists private businesses in achieving their philanthropic goals through a network of more than 150,000 nonprofit organizations, all of which have undergone Gifts In Kind’s extensive screening process (Source: GIKI website). In-kind giving represents more than $6 billion of the $10 billion in corporate gifts donated last year and comprises an increasing proportion of all cash and non-cash philanthropy (Source: “Giving in Numbers 2010”, from www.corporatephilanthropy.org).

In early 2008, Gifts In Kind International and The Home Depot launched Framing Hope—a product donation program for charitable organizations in the United States. The Framing Hope program matches Home Depot stores across the country with local charities. Through their participation in the program, these organizations gain access to a wide variety of donated home improvement products and building supplies from their Home Depot partner stores. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Framing Hope program from the perspective of these recipient organizations.

Goals and Methodology


This study investigates the direct outcomes generated from the Framing Hope program, including: Who is using the program? How many households have been served? What are the major beneficial outcomes from the program for organizations and their clients? What do charities report as the limitations to participation in the program with respect to their capacity to receive, store and distribute product donations? How satisfied are charities with the program, GIKI and Home Depot? How can the program be improved?

Data come from an original survey of all Framing Hope participants, combined with organizational data on each charity obtained from 990 Information Returns. Using these data, charities’ reported experiences with the program can be compared on such characteristics as size, mission, objectives, and level of involvement in the program. All 778 nonprofit partners in the Gifts In Kind International (GIKI) Framing Hope program were invited to participate.

In May of 2010 a first draft of the survey was sent to the staff of Gifts In Kind International for an in-house review. In early June a second draft of the survey was pretested on a select group of charity partners. After minor revisions, the survey was submitted to the Indiana University Institutional Review Board (IRB) for human subjects review. The survey was approved and fielded in the first week of July. Data collection was completed in the last week of August, with 336 organizations responding in full, a response rate of 43% (margin of error = +/- 4%).

Responses to each survey question follow. The report also includes selective cross-tabulations that compare responses based on organizational characteristics. In many instances, following standard academic practice, measures of central tendency (means, medians) and measures of dispersion (range, standard deviation) are included. These can help readers understand the consistency with which respondents replied.

Key Findings

Satisfaction
  • 90% of clients rated their relationship with Home Depot as “good” or better.
  • 92% of clients rated their relationship with Gifts in-Kind as “good” or better.
  • The most frequent critiques from clients concerned the utility or quality of the goods they received, and the financial cost of participating in the program.
  • Despite the strong satisfaction level, there is a weak relationship between an extended length of time in the Framing Hope program and an increased likelihood of referring others to the program.

Impact
  • Over 178,000 household units were served by respondents to this survey. Extrapolating that figure to all partner organizations, the Framing Hope program reaches an estimated 450,000 households nationally.
  • The total donations received from respondents to this survey were valued at over 5.3 million dollars. Again, extrapolating that figure to all charities participating in the program, the value of the received donations is an estimated $46 million.
  • 60% of charities share product donations with other organizations and those donations serve over 12,000 additional households.
Capacity Challenges
  • 62% of charities have been offered more products than they have been able to use.
  • 30% of respondents report the challenge of transporting Framing Hope donations limits their organization’s ability to participate in the program. The majority of these report that finding an appropriately sized vehicle and a driver are their biggest struggle.
  • 35% of charities find the challenge of storing Framing Hope donations limits their organization’s ability to participate in the program. Overall, however, capacity to participate in the program is only weakly related to organizational size.
  • Fewer than one-third of responding charities use performance measures in the Framing Hope program or have a system for valuing in-kind gifts. Those who do employ performance measures such as staff/client satisfaction are also more likely to have a method for placing a dollar value on in-kind gifts.
Opportunities
  • More than one-third of respondents have started new programs or expanded existing services with Framing Hope donations.
  • 16% of respondents report the Framing Hope program has helped them obtain other funding, such as using the program as a match for grant requirements.

*Research funding by the Center on Philanthropy