Naeir is making history
How does a small non-profit grow into a national organization that has received almost $3 billion in new merchandise? One donation at a time…
NAEIR was founded by Norbert C. Smith, the former President of Capital Recovery Company, a consulting firm that arranged donations of capital equipment and buildings to schools and non-profit organizations.
Norbert’s wife, Laverne, started helping out at NAEIR a few days a week. Within months she was working full-time. She stayed with the organization for 34 years and served as Chairman of the Board from 1999 until her passing in 2011.
NAEIR establishes its first tagline: “Get Your Share…Join NAEIR!”
NAEIR moved into its first “real” warehouse, a donated 60,000 square foot facility on the south side of Chicago. The office was still located in Northfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and stayed there until 1984.
Norbert Smith’s son Gary joined NAEIR as Warehouse Manager after many years in the construction industry. At the time NAEIR had approximately 400 members.
A 200,000 square foot, multi-story warehouse was donated to NAEIR. It was located just a few blocks from Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox.
Still growing, NAEIR moved into a 325,000 square foot facility on West Cermack in Chicago (also donated). This multi-story facility provided much needed extra room, but the low ceiling heights and lack of office space soon became a problem.
NAEIR moved into a 450,000 square foot facility in Galesburg, Illinois, which had been donated by the Outboard Marine Corporation. The mammoth building had plenty of room for growth and the expansive office space ensured that all NAEIR employees were able work at the same facility.
NAEIR published its first member catalog, which replaced the numerous flyers it had been sending. Members quickly term the catalog “The Book.”
A new record! NAEIR received over $100 million in inventory contributions in just one year! (Since then, NAEIR has received over $100 million in merchandise every year with only one exception.)
NAEIR launched an alternate membership program called Member’s Choice to serve organizations that were not big enough to truly benefit from the Catalog program. The Member’s Choice program offered reduced membership fees and select assortments or “kits” of premium merchandise.
Gary Smith took over as President and CEO of NAEIR.
NAEIR celebrated $1 billion in total product donations received since its inception!
NAEIR and American Greetings started a merchandise returns program, receiving returns from over 10,000 retailers throughout the life of the eight-year project. NAEIR temporarily opened facilities in California and Maryland to accommodate all the extra merchandise.
For the first time, NAEIR received product donations of over $140 million in a single year!
NAEIR broke its previous record, receiving inventory contributions of $161 million in just one year!
Another record! NAEIR hit the $2 billion mark in total product donations! ($163.3 million worth in 2007 alone – our best year yet!)
NAEIR drafted new legislation, Bill HR 2592, which would allow S corporations to receive the same benefit as regular C corporations for gifts of inventory under IRS Code 170(e)(3).
Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock agreed to sponsor HR 2592. The bill is likely headed for passage sometime in 2013. This new law will enable local organizations to solicit contributions of inventory on a grassroots basis. This would help build important relationships between the non-profit and small business sectors in communities across the country.
NAEIR celebrated its 35th birthday, making it the oldest in-kind giving organization in America. As part of the celebration, NAEIR debuted the Best Values catalog. It allows members to request individual items, rather than an entire assortment of products. (Kits are still available, but are only offered on a limited basis.)
NAEIR introduced a new logo, the Empowering Generosity tagline and revamped catalogs and website. Membership levels were renamed to Basic and Premier for ease of understanding.