Tradeco International delivers 'Plates & Plates of Smiles'

  • NAEIR President/CEO Gary C. Smith, right, and Vice President of Corporate Relations Paula DeJaynes accept Tradeco International's donation of 48,000 pieces of china dinnerware to a gifts-in-kind organization.

    NAEIR President/CEO Gary C. Smith, right, and Vice President of Corporate Relations Paula DeJaynes accept Tradeco International's donation of 48,000 pieces of china dinnerware to a gifts-in-kind organization. Courtesy of Joanne Levine

 
Submitted by Joanne Levine
Updated 7/31/2020 3:03 PM

Tradeco International, based in Addison, Illinois, made the largest donation in its decadeslong history when it donated 48,000 pieces of china dinnerware to a gifts-in-kind organization.

"We connect companies looking to donate products with nonprofits who can benefit from them," said Gary C. Smith, president and CEO of the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources, the largest gifts-in-kind nonprofit organization in the United States.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

NAEIR's specialty is receiving donations of excess inventory from corporations like Tradeco International, and then redistributing them to nonprofit member schools, teachers, churches and charities.

Tradeco's donation of plates, cups and bowls filled so much of a 50-foot trailer that "you couldn't even have fit one sheet of paper in there," says Tradeco CEO Leslie Plass.

Although large by Tradeco's standards, donations to gifts-in-kind corporations are sometimes even larger -- as many as several truckloads -- but can also be no more than a few boxes.

Both large corporations and small businesses make donations of items that may include cleaning supplies, office products, clothing, toys, electronics, art supplies and a myriad other items.

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The nonprofit is provided a catalog of available products from NAEIR and selects the merchandise they want to receive. They pay only a small handling fee.

As a member of the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, Tradeco sells dinnerware to wholesalers in the food service industry. Plass founded Tradeco in 1987 when the company he worked for was sold to a larger corporation.

As with many businesses, Plass' company has felt the financial impact of COVID-19. "Nothing in my lifetime has ever had this impact," he remarks.

Donating through a gifts-in-kind organization allowed Plass to both help his own business by receiving a tax credit for his donation and assist organizations stretched to their limits as they have seen donations dwindle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Tradeco dinnerware donation will be made available to NAEIR members at www.naeir.org, along with other products.

To date, NAEIR has received donations of excess inventory from more than 8,000 U.S. corporations and redistributed more than $3 billion in products to nonprofits and schools. By donating new, excess inventory to NAEIR, businesses like Tradeco can earn a federal income tax deduction under Section 170 (e)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The IRS Code states that regular C corporations may deduct the cost of the inventory donated, plus half the difference between cost and fair market value. Deductions may be up to twice-cost. Companies that are an S corporation, partnership, LLC or sole proprietorship qualify for a straight cost deduction -- which could still be more than they would make by going through a liquidator.

For Tradeco International, the arrangement is a win-win. Their donation helps their own bottom line while also helping those who are truly hurting in these trying times.

The National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources is the oldest and largest gifts-in-kind organization in the U.S. NAEIR receives donations of excess inventory from American corporations and distributes the material to a membership base of more than 13,000 charities. It has collected and redistributed more than $3 billion worth of new, donated supplies and equipment since its founding in 1977. On average, NAEIR members acquire more than $18,000 worth of free products per year for their organizations.

For more information about NAEIR, visit www.naeir.org or call (800) 562-0955.

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