Using to Make Gifts in Kind a Click Away

One of the best things about working at Masterworks is that everyone is on the lookout for new ideas; this one came from Milo, our Vice President for Administration.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy wrote about two organizations using’s Wish List to highlight items needed for donation.

The Wish List has two built in features that make it perfect for gift in kind.

First, your ministry can select how many of a particular item they need, but donors can buy any quantity of that item. So if you need two dozen packs of socks, a donor can buy six and then future donors see that you only need eighteen more.

Second, you can include a ship-to-address as part of the list setup so donors don’t have to think about where to ship it. And it assures that your donations end up at the right spot.

The ability to be very specific about needs is also helpful. I know many missions struggle with getting gifts in kind that have been so “loved” the ministry can’t use them.

Most importantly, this takes a traditionally offline transaction online: lowering costs and likely increasing donor value. Because, we know — say it together now — that donors who give in multiple channels can be worth more than twice as much as donors who give in a single channel.

We’ve done some research and there is a snag: you may not get enough information about the donor from Amazon to properly receipt them. We purchased a few items from a wish list and we did get the purchaser’s name, but that’s all. That isn’t a lot to match on, but it is something.

Finally, Amazon offers the ability to create a Wish List widget that allows you to embed your wish list on a page on your site. This lets you better control the start of the experience for your donors.


As with many things digital there are lots of possibilities, but the first step is to build a small wish list and share it with a group of committed donors. If it works, widen the circle, rinse and repeat.