There are many benefits to creating a wish list, or a list of desired or needed items. First, you can use the wish list to reach out to local businesses and volunteers, making each request intentional and specific. Use the list to advertise those needs through a newsletter, website, or by posting a sign at your drop-off center. As you receive items, check them off so that your supporters can see your progress.
You don’t need to accept every in-kind donation that is offered, as you might create a negative relationship if you accept a product or service that you cannot use. If it is a donation that you can’t use or do not have the capacity to manage, gracefully decline the offer. Some donations, though well-intentioned, have hidden costs and pose issues such as requiring time, money, and personnel to process. The wish list allows you and the donor to see what is needed and reduces your chances of receiving a donation that you will not use.