L.A. SHARES is a 21st century web-based philanthropy that takes donations of new and (gently) used goods from local businesses and individuals and redistributes them FREE-OF-CHARGE to City of Los Angeles based schools, nonprofit organizations and City Departments.
Since 1991, thanks to the generosity of both the local business community and civic-minded individuals, L.A. SHARES has redistributed more than $180 million worth of goods and materials to over 4,000+ local schools, nonprofit organizations and City Departments absolutely FREE-OF-CHARGE.
If eligible, L.A. SHARES would like to help your school or nonprofit as well.
To participate in the L.A. SHARES program, you first must carefully read this entire section.
Then once you are familiar with how L.A. SHARES operates, go ahead and complete your organization's or school's online registration.
This online registration should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
However, once registered, your City Department, Nonprofit Organization or School will gain access to millions of dollars worth of free goods, materials, and supplies through the L.A. SHARES program.
That's time well spent.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN L.A. SHARES?
Nonprofit organizations, schools (both public and private) and City Departments that meet the following requirements are eligible to participate in L.A. SHARES.
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS - Eligibility Requirements
Your nonprofit organization must:
- Show evidence of tax exempt status under IRS Section 501(c)3.
- Not be classified as a religious organization or private foundation.
- Be headquartered in the City of Los Angeles.
- Operate programs that directly serve and benefit City of Los Angeles residents.
- Own or lease the facility where you operate your program(s).
- Not operate as a home-based organization.
- Be able to certify that your nonprofit does not discriminate in the hiring of staff or provision of services on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Provide the URL of an active website [e.g., www.OrganizationName.org] that describes your organization's mission and provides a way for the general public to contact your organization for further information.
- Maintain a current email address, which is specifically tied to your organization, for the registered representative of your organization (e.g., John@OrganizationName.org).
► IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE: We do not accept AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and other commercial email accounts.
Only one (1) registration per nonprofit is allowed.
We do not accept post office box addresses.
We do not accept organizations who operate under the auspices of a fiscal sponsor.
We are unable to make exceptions
Please click here to see if your organization is already registered with L.A. SHARES.
ELEMENTARY THROUGH HIGH SCHOOLS (both public and private) - Eligibility Requirements
Your school must:
- Be either an elementary school, a middle school, a high school or any combination thereof.
- Be licensed and accredited to operate in the City of Los Angeles.
- Be located in the City of Los Angeles.
- Be able to certify that your school does not discriminate in the hiring of staff or provision of services on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Provide the URL of an active website [e.g., www.SchoolName.edu] that provides a way for the general public to contact your school for further information.
- Maintain a current email address, which is specifically tied to your school, for the registered representative of your school (e.g., Jill@SchoolName.edu).
► IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE: We do not accept AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and all other commercial email accounts
Only one (1) registration per school is allowed.
We are unable to make exceptions
Please click here to see if your school is already registered with L.A. SHARES.
HOW DOES L.A. SHARES AWARD DONATIONS?
L.A. SHARES' primary method of awarding donations is through online lotteries. Once your nonprofit or school is registered with L.A. SHARES, you can expect to receive email notifications of approximately ten (10) plus lotteries per day for the items on your Wish List.
Each email for a lottery will include a photograph and detailed description of the item offered together with the date and time that the lottery will close.
If you respond to this email by the lottery deadline, indicating an interest in the lottery item, your organization's name will be included in the lottery drawing.
If your organization is the "winner" of any lottery, L.A. SHARES will contact you, via email, to arrange for a pick-up of your item(s). The "winning" organization(s) then goes directly to the donor to pick up their item(s).
If we do not have enough donated items to accommodate all of the organizations who participate in a lottery - in the interest of fairness and equitability - we use the following listed criteria to further help us determine the lottery winner:
Appropriateness of Need?
Does your organization have a "primary" need for the lottery item in question; a need central to your mission?
If not, then the item will go to an organization whose mission it better matches. For example, a donated piano will go to a music group before it goes to a wildlife shelter because a music group has a "primary" need for a piano. However, if all organizations wanting the same item have an equal appropriateness of need, then we will use your list of "Top 10" most needed items and consider...
Urgency of Need?
Did your organization indicate the item in question as one of your "Top 10" most needed items?
Your organization's list of its "Top 10" most needed items allows us to gauge the urgency of your need for a lottery item. For example, if the item in question is #5 on your organization's list of "Top 10" most needed items and #7 on another organization's list, then your organization will be awarded the item due to your on your department/organization/school's greater "urgency of need."
NOTE: We encourage you to update your organization's "Top 10" most needed items on a regular basis, to reflect your current needs. You have access to your L.A. SHARES account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In the case that all organizations participating in a lottery have an equal urgency of need, then we will consider...
Length of Time You Have Waited?
How long has your organization waited to receive the item in question?
The longer your registered organization has been waiting for an item, the more likely your organization is to receive it. For example, if your organization has been waiting two months for an item, you will be awarded that item over a similarly qualified organization that has only waited two weeks. You may want to keep this in mind when changing your organization's Wish List items; especially your organization's list of "Top 10" most needed items.
However, if all organizations wanting the same item have waited an equal amount of time, then we will consider...
Have We Helped You Recently?
When did we last award you a donation?
If your organization has not received a donation from us recently, your organization is more likely to be in line for the lottery donation. For example, if your organization and another similarly qualified organization have both requested the item in question, but your organization has been waiting longer, then your organization/school will be awarded the donation.
Each year we launch thousands of these "lottery" opportunities.
Warehouse "Shopping" Appointments
As a complement to our online lotteries, L.A. SHARES hosts invitation only "shopping" appointments at both its Griffith Park Reuse Center and its Wilmington Warehouse for members of the L.A. SHARES family a number of times each year.
"Shopping" appointments at our Griffith Park Reuse Center allow selected groups the opportunity to examine firsthand our extensive inventory of hundreds of different items and take what they would like on the spot, FREE-OF-CHARGE.
Commonly available items include calculators, paper, pens, desk top accessories, staplers, tape, stationery supplies, books, envelopes, labels, file folders, scissors, sheet protectors, binders, bags, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, paperclips, glue sticks, and personal care products, plus many more valuable supplies.
In addition, L.A. SHARES also hosts invitation only "shopping" appointments at our Wilmington Warehouse to facilitate large scale redistributions of donated items such as furniture, health and beauty products, 3-ring binders and other school supplies.
However, to be eligible for these "shopping" appointments (and the rest of the L.A. SHARES program), you must first complete your registration.
WHAT WE EXPECT OF YOU
As a member of the L.A. SHARES family, and in exchange for all that L.A. SHARES can offer, your organization, we ask you to comply with these five simple participation guidelines:
When your group wins a lottery item...
1. Be Prepared to Follow Through
Lottery winners are provided with the name and contact information (telephone and email) of the company or individual who has donated the item.
It is your responsibility to immediately, contact the donor (within 24-48 hours once receiving the lottery notification email) and arrange to pick-up the items in a timely manner that is agreed upon between the recipient organization and the donor.
When you schedule a pick up with the donor ...
2. Be On Time
Always be on time for a scheduled item pick-up, so as not to inconvenience our donors. Failure to make a scheduled pick-up will result in the immediate termination of your organization from the L.A. SHARES program.
Once you have picked up from the donor ...
3. Let L.A. SHARES know by email when the item has been picked up. Once we know by email L.A. SHARES will then provide you via return email with the necessary information in order for you to write your Thank You Letter(s). Please do not write your Thank You Letter(s) prior to receiving this email first.
Okay. Now here is the very important part of the deal now that you have the "stuff" ...
4. You Must Promptly Write and Send Your Thank You Letter to the Donor
You are required to type a Thank You Letter on your organizations letterhead to the donor and send via US Mail within seven (7) days after your pick up. In the Thank You Letter is where you let the donor know how this item now benefits your organization.
You're almost done but, yes, we need a copy too ...
5. You Also Need Send a Copy of your Thank You Letter to L.A. SHARES
You must send a copy of the exact Thank You Letter that you provided to the donor to L.A. SHARES via US Mail within seven (7) days after your pick up. We need this for our records. We do not accept Thank You Letters that are emailed, faxed, or sent via certified/registered mail.
ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THANK YOU LETTERS
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO WRITE THANK YOU LETTER WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS OF PICK UP FROM THE DONOR
The Thank You Letter that you are required to write within seven (7) days of pick up, are the lifeblood of our program and keep the businesses and individuals, your generous donors, continuing to give to your organization.
Failure to write and send a Thank You Letter within seven (7) days of receiving a donation will result in the immediate termination of your organization from the L.A. SHARES program.
On behalf of your organization, here is what you need to do:
- write and send via U.S Mail a Thank You Letter on your letterhead to each business and/or individual that donated the goods and materials that your organization or school received, within SEVEN (7) DAYS of picking up the donation AND
- make sure to send a copy of each Thank You Letter via US Mail to L.A. SHARES within seven (7) days of receiving the donation.
Not sure what a Thank You Letter should look like?
Click here to view four (4) Samples of actual Thank You Letters.
Quite simply, the success of the program is based upon your adherence to these five (5) simple recipient responsibilities.
If you cannot adhere to these five (5) responsibilities - please do not register.
Please Don't Call Us on the Telephone
But Feel Free to Email Us and We Promise to Get Back to You Promptly
Please understand that given our small staff and the thousand plus of departments, organizations and schools we serve daily, L.A. SHARES is unable to accept phone calls from recipients (or potential recipients).
However, we do want to hear from you.
Please communicate with L.A. SHARES via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also ask that you review our FAQs before emailing us. Most questions are answered there.
HOW TO REGISTER?
In order for your nonprofit or school to benefit from the L.A. SHARES program, all you need to do is follow our simple four-step registration process.
Here's a Step-by-Step Guide on How to Register:
● STEP 1: Fill out your Organizational Profile.
Click here to see an example of a completed Organizational Profile.
● STEP 2: Complete your organization's Wish List by reviewing the 400+ items we offer and then entering the desired quantity you wish for each item.
For your convenience, items are offered in the following 5 key categories:
(Wish List Screen #1 of 5)
(Wish List Screen #2 of 5)
(Wish List Screen #3 of 5)
Arts & Crafts Materials
(Wish List Screen #4 of 5)
Personal Care Products
(Wish List Screen #5 of 5)
Click here to see an example of a completed Wish List screen.
(Remember, there are 4 additional categories of items to choose from.)
● STEP 3: Complete your list of "Top 10" most needed items by selecting the 10 most needed items on your Wish List and placing them in priority order.
Your organization's list of its "Top 10" most needed items allows us to gauge the urgency of your need for an item. For example, if an item is #5 on your "Top 10" list and #7 on another group's list, then your organization will be awarded the item based on an "urgency of need."
Click here to see an example of a completed list of "Top 10" most needed items.
● STEP 4: Mail in proof of your organization's nonprofit status or school affiliation (not applicable for City Departments) to the special address provided onscreen after you have completed Steps 1, 2, and 3.
Click here to see an example of the screen with the special address.
That's all you need to do. L.A. SHARES staff will do the rest!
Once we receive your organization's proof in the mail (City Department's are exempt), we'll immediately activate your account, email your representative a notification of such, and begin to help your organization by offering donation opportunities through our lotteries on a daily basis.
READY TO REGISTER?
Have you read this entire webpage and reviewed the following sections to understand how L.A. SHARES operates:
■ Who is Eligible to Participate in L.A. SHARES?
■ How Does L.A. SHARES Award Donations?
■ What We Expect of You - Recipient Responsibilities
■ How to Register?
Well then, you're ready.
Begin the registration process now by clicking on either the "School", "City Department" or "Nonprofit Organization" button below.
Welcome to the L.A. SHARES family!
Is your organization a School, City Department or Nonprofit Organization?