Documenting In-Kind Donations

During a series of recent station audits conducted by CPB's Office of Inspector General, several stations were found to have insufficient or no documentation for some of their in-kind donations and in-kind trades. Consequently, CPB required the return of Community Service Grant (CSG) funds that were calculated based upon the misreported in-kind NFFS. To help ensure that other stations don't run into the same complications, CPB developed the In-kind Donations Certification of Goods and Services Delivered template for optional use by CSG recipients. Used consistently, this tool will help make certain that your station has adequate records regarding the delivery of in-kind donations, including in-kind trades. It is critical that stations maintain proper documentation for in-kind donations and in-kind trades in order to claim them as non-Federal financial support (NFFS). This documentation may be substituted for a donor's invoice.

Consistent Documentation is Key

The template offers stations one option to consistently document and obtain proper certifications for these activities, and is based on requirements detailed in Section 2.6 In-kind Contributions in the CPB Financial Reporting Guidelines. The template is being provided as a word document so that it may be customized as needed (e.g., adding the donor's logo). Please note that proper documentation should be provided to the station by the donor at the time the donation is delivered to the station. Your station may also have a contract or other documentation regarding the donor's intention or commitment to make the donation, but this required certification verifies that the donation has actually been made.

Draft Memo for Your Donors

Several public media stations tested a pilot version of this template for CPB and gave us excellent feedback, comments, and suggestions for improvements. One suggestion was that we develop draft language for a memo from stations to donors to explain the certification form. That language is also available for optional use.

Importance to the System

In-kind contributions, including in-kind trades, are an important source of support, especially for small stations. Equally important, is the need for proper documentation that ensures the integrity of its grant making process. If you have questions or comments regarding the attached In-kind Donations Certification of Goods and Services Delivered template, we want to hear from you. Please contact us at When writing, be sure to identify your station call letters and/or four-digit grantee ID number.