Three Simple Rules for Donating Goods to Charity

Clothing donation

Are you looking for charities that will pick up donations? When you collect the clutter and junk that you don’t need around your house, and give it to one of the charities that will pick up donations in your area, everyone wins. The charities that will pick up donations benefit by converting your unneeded items into cash that furthers the purpose of their mission, such as helping families in need or military support. You benefit when you give your unneeded household to charities that will pick up donations because your home is emptied of the clutter that stresses you out, without you having to drag it all to a donation center yourself.


However, there’s a right and wrong way to donate goods. It’s safe to say that most people who donate goods to charity have good intentions with their contribution, but some people just don’t realize that they could take simple steps to increase the value of their contribution. To help you make the most of the goods you want to donate to charity, consider this list of simple rules for making a charitable donation:


Three Simple Rules for Donating Goods to Charity

  1. Make a List of What You Plan to Donate

    This tip is more for your own benefit than the charity that you are planning to donate to. If you want to claim your donations when you file your taxes, you’ll need to keep good records of what you donate. Just maintain an Excel document with a running list of the items you give to charity. Take note of their condition and approximate value. If you are donating an old t-shirt that you got at a free event, it’s not worth $50; try to be realistic with the value. Or, the good ol’ internet will tell you. Then, at the end of the year, it’s fairly simple to just pull up your list of charitable donations and hand it over to your tax processor.


    Keep in mind that you’ll need to get a document from the charity that you donate to that verifies your contribution. Just ask them for one when you drop off your goods (or have them picked up, if you use a charity that picks up donations.)

  2. Group Like Items Together

    The charities that take donations process hundreds of items every single day. If you just throw all of your donations into this bag or that bag, without rhyme or reason, it takes them considerably longer to make heads or tails of it. You might know that you threw this shoe in that bag, and its mate in the box over there, but they have no way off knowing that until they sort out your whole donation. If you multiply the level of effort that is required to do that by the number of all the donations a charity gets, they’d never get anything else done.


    Instead, tie a rubber-band around shoes that go together. Use one box while sorting through goods in your kitchen, and then another one while sorting through items in your closet. Label the type of items that are within the boxes. These simple steps only cost your a few extra minutes but save a ton of time for the volunteers who are responsible for sorting through them, and maximizes the value of the goods you give to charity.

  3. Treat Fragile Items as You Would If You Were Moving

    Your donated goods only serve any purpose to the cause you give them to if they are in good shape. If you put a vase in a box without wrapping it in any protective paper and it breaks before it is processed, it doesn’t just waste that vase, all other items in that box will also likely need to be disposed of. Not to mention, it creates a hazard for the people who go through your donations, without knowing there is broken glass in it.


    Before donating anything fragile to charity, wrap it in news paper or grocery bags to protect it. Make sure to clearly label the box with the words “Contents is Fragile!” so anyone who handles the box knows to do so with care.

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