Tradeco International Delivers Plates & Plates of Smiles to Gifts-in-Kind Organization

Tradeco International NAEIR
Paula DeJaynes and Gary C. Smith of NAEIR looking over the Tradeco donation.

Tradeco International, based in Addison, Illinois, made the largest donation in its decades-long 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,” explains Gary C. Smith, president and CEO of NAEIR (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 of other items.  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.

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The Tradeco dinnerware donation will be made available to NAEIR members at their website, 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 (NAEIR) 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 their website or call 1-800-562-0955.

  • Day & Nite
  • Imperial Dade
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • McKee Foodservice
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • DAVO Sales Tax
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • RATIONAL USA
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Inline Plastics Safe-T-Chef