At Gesture, we value the work you do, and are ready and excited to work with our charity partners to raise $1 billion dollars in the next five years. In our efforts to help you raise more, we’ve compiled our 2016 Corporate Donation Guide. Get access today!

Whether you’re looking for donation items for your next fundraising event, hoping to provide more choices for your silent auction, or looking to fund a new project, you’ve come to the right place. From restaurants to airlines, companies have programs specifically designed to support nonprofits through donations, sponsorships, grants, and even discounts on services required to run an event. This Corporate Donation Guide will help you prepare for your next event!

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At Gesture, we value the work you do, and are ready and excited to work with our charity partners to raise $1 billion dollars in the next five years. In our efforts to help you raise more, we’ve compiled our 2016 Corporate Donation Guide.

Whether you’re looking for donation items for your next fundraising event, hoping to provide more choices for your silent auction, or looking to fund a new project, you’ve come to the right place. From restaurants to airlines, companies have programs specifically designed to support nonprofits through donations, sponsorships, grants, and even discounts on services required to run an event. This Corporate Donation Guide will help you prepare for your next event!

Included in the 2016 Corporate Donation Guide

Chapter 1: Corporate Donation List
Find a list of corporations that donate to nonprofits across the country, with a convenient link to their application requirements. *Please note that we have no affiliation with these companies, and therefore cannot guarantee that you will receive a donation.*

Chapter 2: Tips from the Trenches
Some useful tips and advice from our experienced Account Managers on all things fundraiser prep!

Chapter 3: Writing a Donation Request Letter
Don’t forget about your local businesses when looking for auction donations or event sponsorships. Take a look at some sample request letters and use our tips to help you get started on writing your own!

Chapter 4: Additional Helpful Resources
The Gesture blog is full of good tips and advice as you prepare for your next fundraiser. Take a look at some of our helpful posts for inspiration.

Chapter 5: Regional Lists
The Corporate Donation Regional Lists are great to use when looking to bring a local flair to your auction, or find corporations who offer sponsorships, grants or direct donations to local organizations. Click on the relevant link below.

Corporate Donation Guide 2016 Map


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To make sure you’re finding the information that’s most relevant to you in the quickest and easiest way possible, you will find a corporation’s name and link under each section that applies to their giving considerations. For example,  if a corporation offers sponsorships and direct donations, you will find their name and link under both sections. This way, you don’t have to do additional research.

We have also indicated next to each corporation which types of nonprofits can request donations to save you time.

Jump ahead to auction items/raffle prizes, direct donations, discounts, grants or sponsorships!

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Gift Cards

  • Booksamillion – Schools, churches, organizations and charities that encourage and promote reading, literacy and education
  • Costco – Children, education or health and human services organizations
  • Minted – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • StaplesYou must request information on gift card donations from the store nearest you – Education (schools, GED program, mentoring, tutoring, college prep) and job skills (job training/placement, resume building, interview skills, career exploration) 

Item or In-Kind Donations
In-kind gifts are contributions of goods or services, other than cash grants. This list includes corporations that will donate Kindle devices, food, tickets for things like amusement parks and airfare, hotel rooms, clothing, toys, etc.

  • Amazon – Schools
  • Binny’s Beverage Depot – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Budget Rent a Car – Community services
  • Costco – Children, education or health and human services organizations
  • DisneylandMust be located in western USA – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Disney WorldMust be located in central or eastern USA – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Emergen-C – Sporting and charitable events – great for 5ks!
  • Intercontinental Hotel Groups – Environment, local economic opportunity, disaster relief
  • Kimberly Clark – Community events, local & international causes and diaster relief efforts
  • Nike – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Nutiva – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Organic Valley – Organizations working to create a better food system
  • Otterbox – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Pentel – Education, Health & Human Service, Arts
  • Royal Caribbean® Cruises – Children & families, education and marine conservation
  • Southwest Airlines – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • StaplesYou must request information on gift card donations from the store nearest you – Education (schools, GED program, mentoring, tutoring, college prep) and job skills (job training/placement, resume building, interview skills, career exploration) 
  • Starwood Hotels – Workplace readiness, community vitality, human rights
  • Toys “R” Us – National charities with a focus on children’s issues
  • Wawa Foundation – Health, hunger and everyday heroes

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  • Barnes & Noble – Literary, Arts or Educational Organizations ONLY (K-12, and higher learning)
  • Best Western Hotels – Environment, combating poverty
  • Budget Rent a Car – Community services
  • Costco – Children, Education or Health & Human Services
  • Delta Airlines – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods – Leagues, teams, athletes and outdoors enthusiasts
  • Enterprise HoldingsMust contact your Enterprise account representative – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Fairmont Hotels – Water and community development & support
  • Family Dollar – Organizations which provide basic necessities of life to low-income and low-middle income families
  • Hertz® Car Rental‎ – Education, environment, safety and travel with an emphasis on children and families
  • Hilton Worldwide – Creating opportunities, stregthening community, celebrating cultures and living sustainably
  • Intercontinental Hotel Groups – Environment, local economic opportunity, disaster relief
  • Jewel Osco – Hunger relief, health & nutrition, environmental stewardship
  • Jo-Ann Fabrics – Arts & education, health & wellness and military support
  • Marriott International – Shelter & food, environment, readiness for hotel careers, vitality of children, embracing global diversity & inclusion
  • McCormick Corporation – Education, health & wellness, environment & habitat, culture & the arts
  • Organic Valley – Organizations working to create a better food system
  • QVC – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Radioshack – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Royal Caribbean® Cruises – Children & families, education and marine conservation
  • Trader Joe’sMust work with Donations Coordinator at your local store – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Walgreens – Access, outreach and education geared toward health; national nonprofits focused on research & treatment of a single disease; civic and community outreach
  • Waste Management – Environment, environmental education, causes important to the areas where they operate
  • Whole Foods Market – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Wyndham Worldwide Hotels – Open to all nonprofit organizations

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  • Binny’s Beverage Depot – To receive discounts on products for your event, you must visit your local store – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • CVS – Apply for CVS gift cards that you can use to purchase items to help your organization’s work, such as school supplies, personal care items, water and sunscreen – Open to schools, PTOs, youth sports teams, veterans orgs & walks/races
  • Minted – 50% discount towards your Minted order (for nonprofits wishing to use their printing and design services) – Open to all nonprofit organizations

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  • Amazon – Nonprofit literary organizations
  • Bank of America – Workforce development & education, community development and basic needs
  • Ben & Jerry’s Foundation – Community & ally outreach, leadership development, constituent empowerment & decision-making, popular education, root cause analysis, power analysis, campaign development, mobilizing constituents & allies, coalition building
  • Best Buy – Nonprofits, schools & libraries to support tech education programs for underserved teens 
  • Coca- Cola – Water stewardship, active healthy living, community recycling and education
  • Costco – Children, education or health and human services organizations
  • Enterprise HoldingsMust contact your Enterprise account representative – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Google – This grant is for Google AdWords – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Nordstrom – Organizationss that care for kids and empower youth
  • Office Depot – Disaster relief & recovery, schools, libraries, government agencies and nonprofits
  • Pepsico – Organizations that encourage healthy lifestyles, improve availability of affordable nutrition, expand access to clean water, enhance sustainable agriculture capability, enable job readiness and empower women & girls
  • Royal Caribbean® Cruises – Children & families, education and marine conservation
  • Safeway Foundation – Hunger relief, education, health and human services, and assisting people with disabilities – All California, Nevada and Hawaii requests must be sponsored by an employee
  • Sony – Organizations that support the encouragement of the creative, artistic, technical and scientific skills required of tomorrow’s workforce
  • StanleyBlack&Decker – Construction of safe, decent, and affordable housing for those in need; STEM education; Healthcare; Emergency & disaster relief services; Veteran support; Building communities in another way
  • Staples – Education (schools, GED program, mentoring, tutoring, college prep) and job skills (job training/placement, resume building, interview skills, career exploration)
  • Starwood Hotels – Workplace readiness, community vitality, human rights
  • Target – Education, the arts and public safety
  • Tiffany & Co. Foundation – Stewardship of natural resources, i.e. focused on respnsible mining, coral conservation and urban parks
  • Toys “R” Us – National charities with a focus on children’s issues
  • Union Bank – Affordable housing, community economic development, education, environment, human services
  • Walmart – Opportunity, sustainability, community
  • Wawa Foundation – Health, hunger and everyday heroes
  • Wells Fargo – Housing organizations

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  • Bank of America -Art exhibitions, events and performances
  • Barnes & Noble – Literary, Arts or Educational Organizations (K-12 and higher learning)
  • Best Buy – Nonprofits, schools & libraries to support tech education programs for underserved teens
  • Best Western Hotels – Environment, combating poverty
  • Coca- Cola – Water stewardship, active healthy living, community recycling and education
  • Delta Airlines – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods – Leagues, teams, athletes and outdoors enthusiasts
  • Hilton Worldwide – Creating opportunities, strengthening community, celebrating cultures and living sustainably
  • Home Depot – Nonprofits funding veteran housing or community repair
  • Nikon – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Radioshack – Open to all nonprofit organizations
  • Royal Caribbean® Cruises – Children & families, education and marine conservation
  • Starwood Hotels – Workplace readiness, community vitality, human rights
  • Union Bank – Affordable housing, community economic development, culture & arts, education, emergency services, environment, health & human services
  • Wawa Foundation – Health, hunger and everyday heroes


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Gesture Account Managers work closely with our charity partners as they set up their online auction websites, and work more than 100 fundraisers each year. After attending more golf outings, galas and happy hours than they can count, they have a strong pulse on the do’s and don’ts of fundraising.

Don’t be afraid to ask your board or other prominent members of your organization to bring in a sponsor or item for an auction. 
Ask the questions – they might have a lake house, but might not realize they could offer it as an auction item.

When all else fails, bundle, bundle, bundle.
Packages like date nights, which, for example, could include a restaurant gift card, tickets to a musical, and stay at a hotel for the night, will raise more money than if you tried to auction off each of those items separately.

Know your crowd.
For your silent auction, make sure you have a variety of different items and price points that cater to a wide array of your guests. That way there’s something for everyone! For a fund-the-need, if you know that the highest donation you’ll get is $5,000, don’t start the asking price at $10,000. It would be better to start at $5,000 and have someone surprise you by wanting to double their donation and make it $10,000, than hoping someone will pledge at that level and being wrong.

Limit the number of consignment trips to 20% of the trips offered in your silent and/or live auction.
Consignment trips are a great opportunity, but it’s better to get as many trips donated as possible to avoid restrictions consignments might have. You’ll also raise more money!

Items that relate to your cause will do the best.
For example, an arts organization likely would raise more money when they have an entertainment artist come to their event and paint a picture to auction off than a hospital might if they did the same thing. Also, sports foundations raise more on sports-related items. “Give the people what they want.”

Peer pressure doesn’t disappear after grade school.
If you do it correctly, the paddle raise is a great way to set up your fund the need. Your supporters will be pressured to give more when their peers are doing the same.

Strong item descriptions lead to more bids.
Make sure item details are clear and to the point. Guests are much more likely to bid if the description is kept brief but also includes all pertinent details, including black out dates, venue locations, etc.

Be creative.
If you bundle a package, or even if you’re just selling tickets to a baseball game, name the item something fun to get your supporters more interested! Instead of calling it “Food Gift Card & Hotel,” you could call it “Downtown Date Night,” or instead of “Cubs/White Sox Tickets,” you could call it “Crosstown Classic.”

Always be aware of what could be a good auction item/opportunity.
Here’s an example. If everyone is talking about trying to get tickets for the hit musical, Hamilton, which will be in town from September 2016 through mid-March 2017, those tickets would go for a high price in an auction. Even if your event isn’t until December, it’s not too early to find someone to donate tickets for your auction, or try to buy them yourself when they go on sale. If you don’t do this right away, you’ll miss your chance.

As a rule of thumb, keep your auction items close to a 1 item to 5 attendees ratio.
Anything smaller (1 item to 2 attendees or 1 item to 3 attendees) is too much. You’ll have items left over. One way to work around this is to bundle items together to create a fun package for your supporters to bid on!


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Our corporate donation list is a great place to start as you prepare for your event, but don’t forget that there are plenty of local businesses that would be happy to support your cause!

While most of the corporations on our list include links to online request forms, local businesses accept requests through in-person visits, phone calls and personal letters. Even when meeting in person or calling (which we recommend), a personal donation request letter is an important piece.

Meeting in person? Leave it behind so your contact has all the important information.

Calling a business? Mail the letter or drop it off to make sure they remember what you spoke about.

Read through our sample donation request letters to help you get started, and be sure to use our tips as you start writing your own.

Writing Tips

  1. Do your research and address the letter to the appropriate person. Showing that it was worth your time to find the right person and send a personalized letter, will show them that your request is worth their time.
  2. Play to their emotions when you introduce your organization. Letting them know how you make a difference in your shared community, and how their contribution can help make an even bigger impact, is a good way to inspire them.
  3. Remember that, unless they ask to make an anonymous donation, they’re looking for recognition for their contribution. Let them know how you’ll recognize them before, during and after your event (i.e. in the event program, on the event webpage, in email communication).
  4. If you’re looking for a specific donation (i.e. gift cards or products), feel free to ask for it directly in the letter, and use the letter sample that best represents your request. Otherwise, let them know that any contribution they can make would be gratefully accepted.
  5. Remember to thank them for their consideration!

Sample Letters

In these letters, all of the information you need to fill in is in purple.

Auction item Request 7-21-16 Donations for a Specific Program 7-21-16 General Donation 7-21-16 Requesting Sponsors 7-22-16


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Take a look at the Gesture blog for some more tips as you prepare for your next fundraiser.

How to Display Silent Auction Items

How to Drive Donations to your Event Site from Facebook

Unique Charity Event Venues

Increase the Bids

10 Blogging Ideas for your Nonprofit

5 Tips For a Successful Donation Appeal