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How to Donate Furniture to Charity

By Edited Jun 9, 2016 0 0

If you would like to make a furniture donation, or a series of furniture donations, you will find that there widely exists a handful of credible and trustworthy charitable non profit organizations that you can easily make these donations to. Nationally and globally recognized non profit organizations, such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, the United Way, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, are typically very sought out when it comes to furniture donations. Bear in mind, however, while each respective charitable non profit organization stated above does do a tremendous amount of good, the handling and treatment of donated furniture can have slight variances amongst organizations. On top of this, whenever furniture is sold, the proceeds from those sales can be allocated different ways in accordance with the non profit organization's stated mission and goals.

In the United States, dependent upon the state or city that you live in, furniture donations can oftentimes be made directly to a variety of furniture donation centers (or banks) that exist throughout a state, as well.

Things You Will Need

  • Old, used furniture that is in reasonable condition.
  • The means and resources to move your furniture (if a way is not provided to you).

Step 1

Whether you will be donating your furniture to a furniture bank in your community, or you will be giving it to the Salvation Army in order to become thrift furniture that is sold for funds that will be allocated towards drug abuse and prevention programs, your willingness to donate furniture to charity should begin with a thorough and proper assessment. Any and all deficiencies, ranging from holes, stains, rips, tears, and breaks, should be documented on a separate sheet of paper. If you have a large amount of furniture that you would like to donate all at once, a simple recommendation would be to make a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet where you can document the name of each respective piece of furniture, as well as, any pertinent data that may be useful for the recipient of your charitable furniture donations to know.

Because charitable non profit organizations can be so particular about the condition that donated furniture is in, you stand a greater chance of your furniture actually being accepted if you go the extra miles to repair existing flaws and deficiencies. While one will expect old used furniture to have endured a degree of natural wear and tear, significant damage to furniture could actually pose more of a safety issue, and this is one of the reasons why these organizations are so interested in the general condition of furniture donations. If you do make any fixes or repairs on your own, be sure to document that on your spreadsheet. When contacting the charitable organization that you will be donating to, you can share the exact condition that each piece of furniture is in, and what steps you have taken to remedy each deficiency.

Step 2

Charitable non profit organizations may vary, dependent on where you live, when it comes to their resources for furniture donation pickup. The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries do typically offer this service, however, they should be contacted prior in order to ensure that the particular branch or division that will be serving you is capable of providing these services. With limited resources themselves, people oftentimes gravitate to making their furniture donations through a non profit organization that offers these services. Unfortunately, not only can many furniture donating hopefuls not have the means to transport their furniture, but they may also not have the strength or resources available to move the furniture themselves. Asking specifically about a furniture donation pickup service should be a priority if you feel you could benefit from these services.

Step 3

Rather than having to sidestep or evade potential obstacles through your living residence, if you have the means and resources to do so, staging your furniture donations before donation pickup can be a great way to minimize the work and effort required for workers to extract your furniture. Ideally, the best place to stage your furniture is to simply place it near the front door of where you live. Even if you don't actually have a suitable vehicle for transfer of large pieces of furniture, you can still recruit friends, family, or neighbors to help move your furniture, perhaps down a large flight of stairs, in order to best stage it for the workers who will be making your donation pickup.

Step 4

While not exactly non profit organizations themselves, local community churches and schools may provide a thoughtful and charitable 'outside the box' approach to donating your furniture. Dependent upon the church or school, you may personally know someone who can give you an accurate assessment or gauge with regards to the actually needs of each group. Perhaps a school could use an old used piece of couch furniture for their drama team's hang out room? They may even be able to use it as a prop for an upcoming play showing that they will be producing.

Old used furniture may also make a suitable addition to a church's youth group hang out room. As you can see, you don't have to necessarily make your furniture donations to a registered non profit organization in order for great use and benefit to come from it. Sometimes 'thinking outside the box' can be your greatest tool in finding the best, most suitable, home for your used furniture donations.

Step 5

Be sure to receive a receipt from the organization that you will be donating your furniture to, for tax purposes.

Choosing to make furniture donations to a charitable non profit organization is a great gesture that can go a long way in getting furniture that you don't need into the hands of those who could use it most. Rather than resort to disposing of your furniture in a landfill, if your old used furniture is still in reasonable condition making a furniture donation is definitely the way to go in order to best give back to your surrounding community.

Tips & Warnings

Even if you do take it upon yourself to repair furniture flaws or deficiencies, there still is a chance that the furniture may be in a compromised state that a charitable non profit organization may not accept. Be cognizant of the fact that each organization is doing their best to best serve people, and, if they feel that your furniture donations may ultimately pose some kind of health or safety risk, they have every right to decline your donation. Do not take this decision personally, if it should occur.

Also, if you feel that repairs need to be made on any given piece of furniture, bear in mind that your furniture donations will ultimately make their way into the hands of other people. If you were them, what would you like to receive? Instead of looking at donation as a way to get rid of something that you don't need, it will certainly help your outlook by viewing it as a great way to give back something of retained value to the needy and underprivileged in your surrounding community. Because of having to move, or obtaining new replacement furniture, generally speaking, if you wouldn't continue using the furniture yourself others will probably not want to do the same.

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