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The Dos and Don'ts of Donating to Charities

By Edited Apr 13, 2016 0 0

How to Donate to Charity Nonprofit Organizations

Charities rely on the good nature of volunteers and donors to accomplish their missions. Without donations, many nonprofit organizations would not be sustainable and eventually close down. And donating to charities is a good way to clean out your house and garage. However, don’t use a charity as cheap or convenient way to get rid of your garbage. Although most items are valuable to the charity, some are not and these cause extra work for the hardworking staff and volunteers. Donating unusable items can also cause an extra expense if the items go straight to and fill up the dumpster.  When donating to charities, take the time to understand the needs of that charity.

Do donate money. Cash is easiest for a nonprofit to put to use on exactly what it needs. But also consider giving unused gift cards. Depending on the needs of the organization, gift cards can often also be put to use just as easily.

Do donate useful items. What is considered useful to the charity is going to vary from charity to charity. For example, a large dog rescue probably has no need for a small dog bed. The best way to determine what will be useful to a certain charity is to check out the organization’s wish list on its website. If one is not posted, then call and ask for the organization’s wish list.

Do keep the wish list. This way, during your next spring-cleaning you can refer to it when sorting your stuff into donation piles.

Do donate items in good, great, or new condition. Donating to charities is a great way to recycle and give new life to old items. However, make sure those items are actually useful and not something that should be put into the dumpster. Unless the organization repairs items as part of their program, broken, torn, moldy or other items unsightly items will not be appreciated or used by the charity.

Do ask the charity if it can use your donation if you are unsure. Call ahead and tell the organization what you have to offer. This will save everyone time if the item can’t be used by the charity. Also, if it’s an exceptionally large item, this will give the staff or volunteers a heads-up so they can plan to make room for the item.

Don’t drop your donations off when the organization is closed. This may be done as a time saver for you, or it may be done to drop your unwanted junk off that you know the charity doesn’t want or need. Be courteous and donate to charities during operating hours. Good items dropped off at the front door may not be there when it opens.

Don’t donate food that is expired, rotting, moldy, or otherwise not eatable. This goes for animal related charities too. If the food is not safe for you to eat, it’s not safe for other humans or animals to eat. Such items belong in the garbage.

Animal Donation Idea

Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog, Beef and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag
Amazon Price: $57.74 $26.99 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 13, 2016)
Dog rescues always need fresh food to feed the dogs and puppies. Consider donating a new unopened bag of dog food.

Kids Donation Idea

KEEN Newport H2 Sandal (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid),Heliotrope,1 M US Little Kid
Amazon Price: $49.95 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 13, 2016)
Children's charities get lots of clothes donated, but rarely do the kids get brand new shoes. Consider donating brand new high quality shoes for the kids.

Another Donation Idea

HP 920 Cyan, Magenta & Yellow Original Ink Cartridges, 3 pack (CN066FN)
Amazon Price: $34.55 $26.95 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 13, 2016)
Every nonprofit needs office supplies. And they don't necessarily have the workforce to make your old used equipment work properly. Consider donating in cartridges, paper, pens, pencils, or even a new printer.
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