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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Charity Navigator Answers "Should I Donate Cash or Clothes?"


An important thing to remember before donating is that different types of donations are useful in different situations. This is especially true when thinking about donating money versus clothes.


Following a disaster, it’s easy to see pictures or footage from the affected areas and want to give clothing and blankets to keep people clean and warm, or food to feed the hungry. But, in reality, money is the most effective gift. Those who have dealt with disasters before say to donate money. This allows relief organizations to purchase the supplies they need to address the needs of those affected.


Additionally, organizations are often not able to handle the immediate influx of material goods following a disaster due to challenges with storage and sorting. Food donations often spoil and clothing may not be distributed.


However, outside of disasters clothing can be a very helpful donation. By giving clothing to your local community organizations and shelters you can be certain your clothes will have a second life. While it may no longer have a home in your closet, it may become a new favorite of someone in need.


Here are some points to remember when donating clothing:

  • Be sure to only donate clothing and items that are in good used condition, or better. Otherwise, you cannot make the deduction on your taxes, nor can the organization use the item.
  • Bringing your donation to the charity itself is an easy way to ensure your donation is getting into the hands of the right people. Organizations like Goodwill have the locations of their donation bins listed on their website, as well as designated drop-off spots, manned by a non-profit representative that can give you a tax receipt.
  • Determine the fair market value of the items so you can correctly deduct your donation on your taxes.
  • Or, you can sell the items you want to get rid of, and donate the money to the charity of your choice.

Written by Camille Sim, Impact Intern at Charity Navigator.

1 comment:

Ray said...

As an elderly, retired disabled veteran, I cannot afford new clothing/appliances, but can survive comfortably with used. I shop for clothes and appliances at Goodwill, where decent things are quite often available. |
Ray