04/18/2012 08:12 am ET Updated Jun 18, 2012

GOOD360 - An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Since my tenure as HP's Chairman & CEO and my run for California's senate seat, I've felt compelled to involve myself in many worthy causes of all shapes and sizes. I serve on the advisory board of the Foundation for Health Coverage Education. I co-chair the US Leadership in Development initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as well as serve on the leadership council of the Initiative for Global Development. I'm a founding supporter of the African Leadership Academy and a founder of the One Woman Initiative. I'm a cancer survivor acting as a Global Envoy for Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG organization.

When I was approached by Good360's search committee about chairing its board of directors, it quickly became clear to me: this nonprofit's mission, inventive model and the sizable impact it was making globally was undoubtedly worth my time and consideration.

Many people are unaware that Good360 is consistently ranked by Forbes as one of the top 10 most efficient charities in America. A lot of people might not know what being the nonprofit leader in product philanthropy even means.

I quickly learned that it's all about facilitating new product donations, leveraged giving and a complete win-win for corporations and Good360's network of more than 26,000 pre-qualified nonprofits. A nonprofit helping other nonprofits to stretch their budgets and fulfill their missions by enabling corporations to increase their bottom line and social image by providing an alternative to disposing of or destroying excess inventory. Yes, Good360, formerly Gifts in Kind International, has been connecting those who have with those who need since 1983.

As corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a must in today's business world, it shocked me that more companies haven't jumped on board to include product giving in their business strategies to reduce logistics and supply chain costs, work towards zero waste initiatives, reap an enhanced tax benefit and even engage employees. Good360 has been working with large corporations such as 3M, The Home Depot, Mattel, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Hallmark and IBM for years to manage their product giving programs, but why are some companies still sending perfectly usable excess inventory to a landfill or selling it for pennies on the dollar? In January of this year, Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) teamed up with Good360 to release research proving the business case for product giving.

As the former leader of a Fortune 20 company, there's no question I see the benefits of product philanthropy. As an average American looking to support a worthy cause and making sure my dollar does the most good, Good360 is also a no-brainer. The organization's unique model of delivering donated products means that every dollar donated toward shipping costs can provide, on average, $70 worth of delivered product -- meaning every donation, no matter how big or small, makes an enormous difference in communities around the world. Through leveraged giving and Good360's extensive network of vetted nonprofits, you don't need to choose just one charity to support. Your dollars can help defray the cost of product delivery, serving every type of cause imaginable.

Being highly involved in technology innovation for years, I'm excited to be joining Good360 as the organization prepares to introduce a cutting-edge upgrade to its online donation marketplace that will better serve the vast and exponentially increasing needs of its growing charitable network. As part of the platform, the new online donation marketplace will connect nonprofits, corporations and socially minded people to share stories and join together to improve their communities through product giving. In addition, the new technology will significantly streamline identification, delivery and distribution of valuable, needed product donations for nonprofits around the world.

This is an idea whose time has come, and I am thrilled to announce my new position as chair of Good360's board of directors. I said yes to its mission, and I hope to influence many more to say yes to what Good360 is doing -- to continue to work with partners around the world to improve the lives of children, families, and communities and to restore and protect the planet -- and do it all through product giving.