Whether it’s an unsold business or cans from a hypermarket, giving in kind is a practice that is increasingly taking root in France. Donation in Kind (ADN), which has collected non-food items from 300 companies to donate to 1,300 charities since 2008, has doubled its collection in the past decade.
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Nationally, the Fondation de France announced in its latest Panorama of generosity (September 2021) that total in-kind donations reached a record €606 million in 2019.
“All forms of giving are on the rise because social needs are becoming more and more explosive”, analyzes Antoine Vaccaro, President of the Center for Studies and Research in Philanthropy. This is all the more true for in-kind donations, he says, since now “care not to throw away”, worn by younger generations.
Forbidding from 1uh January 2022, when companies destroy their non-food items and force them to prioritize donations to associations in exchange for tax exemptions, the Anti-Waste Act for the Circular Economy (Agec) confirmed the phenomenon.
→ READ. Unsold Non-Food Items: Donations to Associations Rise
“The law establishes a regulatory framework that allows us to better raise awareness among companies, in particular the vast majority of VSEs and SMEs, who were unaware of donation schemes,” explains Dominique Besançon, General Delegate of Dons Solidaires, another association for collecting non-food donations. Since the entry into force of the text, she claims that about forty small structures have already contacted her.
If donations increase in volume, their origin does not change. “The biggest donors remain the food industry and companies offering essentials”, – Antoine Vaccaro recalls. A trend confirmed by Solidarity donations and the Non-monetary Gift Agency, where hygiene items account for 35 to 40% of donations, ahead of cleaning products and clothes.
Although it is much more difficult to analyze the profile of people who donate, Antoine Vaccaro nonetheless believes that “The main ones are active people aged 30 to 60, formerly pensioners, who make a direct contribution to the life of associations in the form of volunteering.” That “micro donations” here mostly food or used things.
Depletion of deposits
If Ageka’s law, like Garo’s law – its equivalent for the food side of donation (1) – has a positive effect on associations in the short term, they risk being counterproductive in the long term. “This is an environmental law, not a solidarity law, warns Romain Kanler, CEO of ADN. Its goal is to reduce waste and encourage companies to take better control of their production. Therefore, deposits are expected to decrease. »
→ TRIBUNE. Refurbishment, modernization and environmental taxation to promote the circular economy
Food aid associations are already aware of this trend. “After the adoption of the Garo law, the number of donor supermarkets increased, but the amount of funds raised decreased by almost 40%,” emphasizes Christian Koss in Secours populaire.
Thus, the charitable association should encourage financial donations to compensate for this decline and push government agencies to carry out structural reforms against poverty. “Ultimately, the challenge is to ensure that everyone can have access to what they want, not just second-rate products,” says Christian Koss.
The risk of turning a gift into a commodity
Until now, however, charities have viewed donations as a temporary solution, and in recent years, donations have become like any other sector of the economy. Several start-ups labeled “social economy and solidarity economy”, such as Phenix or Comerso, offer to act as professional intermediaries for a fee between donor companies and charities.
If for Dominique Besançon these “logistics specialists”are “additional” with the non-profit sector, he recognizes the risk “gift commodification”. For Christian Koss of Secours populaire, private sector intrusion also presents a moral challenge. “We do not see donations as an opportunity to provide a service to companies.he analyzes. But as a door to get in touch with people in a dangerous situation and help them beyond the material aspect. This dimension should never disappear. »
According to Adame,the market value of unsold non-food items in 2019 was over €4.3 billion. In 2014, companies destroyed six times more unsold non-food items than they donated. In 2019, the trend was reversed: destroyed unsold items accounted for only 7% of the total, and the share of unsold items donated to the voluntary sector was about 20%.
According to INSEE, in 2019 in metropolitan France 9.2 million people lived below the poverty line, i.e. 14.6% of the population, with an income of less than 1,102 euros per month.
In 2020Between 5 and 7 million people received food aid. For the non-food component, Dons Solidaires and ADN estimate that together they cover the needs of 2 million people.