How Not To Be A Jerk When Donating To Charity

Everywhere you turn, organizations are always looking for charitable donations. You’ve heard the radio spots and seen the ads on TV about how you can make a difference and every year, scores of Americans donate money, clothing and make houseware donations to the less fortunate.

When it comes to donating to charity, the benefits are obvious. You’re helping real people in need, you’re doing a good deed for your community and you’re passing on items like houseware donations to folks who have more use of them them you do.

You make not think so, but donations of any kind can go a long away, no matter how big or small they are. Many organizations such as Purple Heart Pickup will come right to your house and take your houseware donations and donations of clothing as well. But if you’re going to donate, these tips will ensure that you do it right:

  • Consider where it’s going: The average American buys a lot of clothes these days—think twice as many as the average American did 20 years ago. It’s true that a lot of clothes are donated each year—think about 4.7 billion pounds annually—but that represents only about 15% of all the used clothing that Americans donate. That means a lot of it still ends up piling up in landfills.
    Many organizations such as Purple Heart Pickup have charity pickup and will come directly to your home to pick up your donations. So if you’ve got piles of rarely or gently worn clothing in your closet, pull it out and donate it. It’s a great way to get rid of closet clutter and send items to people who can make good use of them.
  • Follow the rules: Making houseware donations and donations of used clothing is a great thing. But if you’re going to do it, you want to make sure you’ll following the rules. You can’t just dump your boxes on the curb and hope someone takes them. Before you donate anything, do some research and find out what the guidelines are for the charity you want to donate to. There may be some items that one organization takes that another organization doesn’t.
    You’ll want to make sure you know the pickup schedule for an organization and you’ll want to get some boxes or containers to put your donated items in. This makes it easier for the folks doing the pickup to transport your items. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also check to see where the local charity pickup spots are in your area. If you’ve got a lot of stuff to donate, you can load it up and easily take it to a neighborhood drop-off site.
  • Know your value: If you’ve got a whole basement full of items you can donate, you can do a lot of good for a lot of people by donating them. Ideally, you should be donating those items because you want to, but you can also get some tax write-ups depending on what you donate. The more donations you make, the bigger your tax deduction may be. Keep a list of what you donate and it’s value. Anything you donate that’s worth more than $250 will require a receipt.
  • If you’re going to be a Good Samaritan in your community and donate items to those in need, do those people a favor and don’t donate junk. Don’t donate the extra coffee maker you’ve got where half the buttons don’t work. Don’t donate handheld electronics that are hanging on by a thread. As you’re sorting through things, pay attention to the condition and quality of the items you want to donate. Rarely or lightly worn jeans can go in a donation box; ratty clothes can be thrown in the trash. Ask yourself this question: would you donate the item in question to a family member? If the answer is yes, put it in the donation box.

    Donating household items such as charitable clothing donations and appliances can go a long way toward helping the less fortunate, but make sure you’re donating items of some quality and discarding the junk. Before you donate, look at the guidelines for charity pick up and make sure you follow their rules.

    Leave a Reply