Susan Goodell needed help.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Goodell, CEO of the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, would look out the window at the long line of clients picking up the food available that day, while she and others answered calls from others who couldn’t travel to a distribution point.
“We were getting just horrible phone calls from our seniors, from people with disabilities, people who were COVID-positive and couldn’t leave their homes to get food,” Goodell said. “We were distributing food here at the site and other sites from about 6 a.m. till about 7 at night. Then, at the end of the day, the staff would pack up food and deliver it to people’s homes.”
So, earlier this year, when the food delivery service DoorDash approached the food bank, offering help, Goodell was elated by the support, and demand quickly ramped up. The program, in El Paso, Texas, now delivers 2,100 orders of food bank supplies each week, and there’s a waiting list to join.
It’s just the result that DoorDash had intended. By offering its delivery platform technology to food banks for free, DoorDash, like a growing number of companies, is providing something that many nonprofits say is even more valuable than cash — know-how.
Corporate donations of “non-cash” — which includes a company’s own products, services and technology — grew to 22% of all community investments in 2020, according to the Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose, a coalition of business leaders. Over the past five years, the coalition says, non-cash is the fastest-growing segment of corporate giving.