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The Best Way Advertising Specialty Companies Can Dispose of Unwanted Inventory &Â Do Good
by Gary C. Smith
If you are a retailer or manufacturer of advertising specialties, one of your great ongoing challenges is disposing of surplus inventory. Chances are, you are discounting, liquidating and auctioning unwanted merchandise labor-intensive work that yields little profit. Good news: there is a better way.
Have you ever considered donating your advertising products to charity? Its called a product philanthropy or gifts-in-kind donations.It’s faster and easier than the methods you are currently using. It’s more financially advantageous, too, thanks to a little-known tax break.
Donating Stock to Charity is Tax DeductibleÂ Â
You may never have heard of IRC Section 170(e) (3), but it’s a key piece of tax code. It states that when C Corps donate their inventory to qualified nonprofits, they don’t just receive a tax deduction: they can receive a tax deduction equal to up to twice the cost of the donated products.
Under the tax code, deductions are equal to the cost of the inventory donated, plus half the difference between the cost and fair market-selling price, not to exceed twice the cost. For example, if your product cost $10 and you sell it in store for $30, the difference is $20. Half of $20 is $10. So, $10 (Product Cost) + $10 (Half the Difference) = $20 Deduction .
$20 does not exceed twice the product cost, so it is does not exceed the maximum allowable deduction. Its that simple and advantageous.
Donating Unwanted Stock Is Easy
You don’t have to go hunting for worthy not-for-profits to accept your excess merchandise. A gifts-in-kind organization will do all the work for you. Gifts-in-kind organizations are 501c3 nonprofits that exist to collect corporate product donations and then distribute them to qualified nonprofits.
A gifts-in-kind organization should accept 100% your overstocks, at any time throughout the year. Its particularly helpful when consolidating a warehouse, transitioning between selling seasons or dealing with a run of returns.
How the Donation Process Works
Your first step is to contact a reputable gifts-in-kind organization and ask how to become a member of its donor network. Typically, you’ll be asked to complete a simple form about your company and its products.
Once you are accepted, you’re ready to start donating. Make a list of the inventory you want to give, and submit it for approval. Once its approved, simply ship it to the designated location. The gifts-in-kind organization assumes responsibility for sorting and cataloging the merchandise, and then making it available to member charities.
When your merchandise is received, the gifts-in-kind organization will send you tax documentation. And after the products are donated, you’ll learn what specific charities received your goods which you and your coworkers will find very gratifying.
More Benefits to Gifts-in-Kind-Donations
The time you’ll save and the tax benefits you will reap aren’t the only advantages to making gifts-in-kind donations. You’ll also:
Protect your brand. Discounting inventory devalues your products and your name, while making corporate donations elevates your brand.
Enhance employee engagement. Employees like working for companies with heart. Sharing the names of the charities that benefited from your gifts-in-kind donations makes great employee newsletter content that raises morale.
Keep your inventory current. There’ no reason to hang onto obsolete stock when you have such a simple process for moving it.
Keep your warehouse uncluttered/Storage space is valuable. Most gifts-in-kind organizations will accept both large and small volume donations at any time, allowing you to better manage your warehouse space.
Most important, your company will offer a helping hand to people in need and the charities that serve them. Your unwanted products can enjoy new life in the hands of those that will put them to very good use. Why discount or liquidate when you can donate.
Gary C. Smith is President and CEO of NAEIR, National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources, the largest gifts-in-kind organization in the U.S. Galesburg, Illinois based NAEIR (www.naeir.org) has received donations of excess inventory from more than 8,000 U.S. corporations and redistributed more than $3 billion in products to non-profits and schools. Gary may be reached at 800-562-0955.
Contact: Lekas & Levine PR,Â 847.327.9530,JoannePR@aol.com
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Despite a movement to weaken the U.S. patent system in recent years, our country still produces some of most innovative people in the world. Women inventors, in particular, are making their presence known in America, even though 93% of patents are granted to men.
In this blog post, we’re featuring four women inventors you should watch out for in 2017. Read on for inspiration, motivation, and proof that patents matter.
Janet Emerson Bashen, Inventor of LinkLine, U.S. Patent: 6985922 B1
Janet Emerson Bashen holds the distinguished honor of being the first African American woman to hold a software patent. Her invention, LinkLine, is used to process Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) investigations online. Bashen told Black Enterprise1 that she came up with the idea while working for an insurance carrier investigating EEO issues. She had seen how paper-based systems were prone to error and knew there had to be a better way. A series of serendipitous events then led to the creation of Bashen Corp., which now handles EEO investigations and sells the LinkLine software.2
Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta, LuminAID Solar Light, U.S. Patent: 9347629 B2
After an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta, then students at Columbia University’s School of Architecture, were given an assignment to find a way to help disaster relief efforts3. After some research, they found that a reliable source of light was always in need among both disaster relief workers and those struck by tragedy. So the pair developed a solar-powered light that could be packed flat and provide illumination for 16 hours on a 6-hour charge. Known as LuminAID, the invention has received wide-spread support, winning various grants for innovation and hitting 500% of its IndieGoGo goal. The invention has since been adopted by many outdoor enthusiasts as a must-have item in their packs. Expect to see more of the LuminAID Solar Light in 2017.
Jessica Matthews, Uncharted Play and M.O.R.E., U.S. Patent: Various
Jessica O. Matthews was visiting Nigeria for her aunt’s wedding when the power went out. The backup option at the time was a diesel generator that produced noxious exhaust fumes. That exhaust bothered Matthews both physically and mentally. She knew that there must be a way to generate cleaner energy for those with unreliable sources of power. Matthews took inspiration from Nigeria’s love of soccer (65% of Nigerians play the sport4) to create the Soccket, a soccer ball that harnessed the kinetic energy generated during play and stored it internally for later use. Matthews company, Uncharted Play, has since created a jump rope using the same technology and is exploring options for partnering with other companies in the near future through offshoot, MORE.5
Want to learn more about the patent gender gap? Visit our recommended reading roundup .
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