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A Guide to Costco’s Donation Program for Non-Profits

Learn more about Costco’s in-kind donations, grant programs, and charitable community involvement.

Costco—well-known for their comprehensive offering of wholesale food, furniture, clothes, and home and personal care products—could be a great match for in-kind donations for your next fundraiser. With a variety of philanthropic programs and locations across the country, what can Costco offer your organization?

We did the research for you, to make planning your next event as seamless as possible. See how you can submit a Costco donation request below.

Does Costco provide in-kind donations?

Costco will provide gift card donations to your nonprofit organization. You can make a Costco donation request by visiting your local store. Costco requires 3 months advance notice, and supports organizations with a focus on supporting children, education, and/or health and human services.

Organizations can submit one application per fiscal year which begins on September 1 and ends on August 31.

Does Costco provide food donations for nonprofits?

Costco donates their leftover food to Feeding America, a national nonprofit organization that is a nationwide network of food banks, as well as other local food banks to help feed people who are food insecure. In fiscal year 2020, Costco was able to donate over 67 million pounds of food in the United States, which is roughly 56 million meals. Most of the food that Costco donates is produce, grains and bread, or dairy and protein.

However, Costco doesn’t have an open application to receive food donations.

What other companies like Costco offer in-kind donations?

If you are looking for product and gift card donation, the following companies are similar to Costco and also donate. Select any of the links below to be directed to the company's donation program information.

Outside of department stores, the following regional grocery and supermarket chains also donate:

Can I apply for a Costco grant?

Costco’s grants are targeted towards larger, broad-based organizations and causes. To submit a Costco grant application, you will need a cover letter, W-9, budget information, and a measured impact report if Costco has funded your organization in the past.

All grant applications are reviewed within four to six weeks, and organizations are limited to one request per fiscal year. If your request is time-sensitive, be sure to submit your request at least three months in advance.

To contact Costco’s grant applications and community relations department, you can email them at

Who can and can’t apply for Costco’s grant program?

501(c)(3) organizations located near a Costco store that have a focus on supporting children, education, or health and human services are eligible to apply.

Costco does not donate to individuals, political or religious organizations, government agencies, research studies, loans or investments, athletic teams, events booster clubs, schools or PTA/PTOs, or animal related programs. The full list of causes Costco does not fund is found on the first page of the Costco grant application.

How much is usually awarded by a Costco grant?

According to Costco’s frequently asked questions, they recommend submitting proposals for no more than 10% of an organization’s total budget, and for new applicants to be conservative with the amount requested.

In what other ways does Costco interact with communities and pursue social good?

Besides their in-kind and grant donation program, Costco pursues various community initiatives. Costco donates directly to many causes that align with their focuses, as well as providing financial assistance such as scholarships and other educational opportunities to fill in the financial gap.

Costco donates their leftover food items as well as cash grants to food banks as part of their Waste Minimization Program. Costco also donates their first-quality items through WorldVision, which goes to people in need in many countries around the world.

Costco also donates backpacks to schools around the world that need them. Costco has donated almost 7 million backpacks since 1993.

Read more about Costco’s charitable contributions here.

Where can I find the aforementioned Costco donation request information?

Cover photo by Grant Beirute on Unsplash

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