Making clothing and household donations to one of the many great charity organizations working to improve the world we live in is good for your mind, body, and soul. There are several ways that donating used items to a good cause ultimately benefit you:
- First, psychology experts suggest that when we have more clutter in our homes than our brains feel in control of, it induces a sense of anxiety and has a negative impact on our well-being. By identifying charity organizations who collect household item and clothing donations, we are clearing out that unneeded clutter, and clearing out our minds.
- Second, it gives us a sense of goodwill to know that we are helping a great cause serve its purpose.
- And third, by helping out people in need, you are supporting the economy, which makes the area you live in better, and benefits you.
When looking for a charity organizations to contribute your used items to, you have a lot of options. You probably want to do the most good, and not all organizations are created equally. While ultimately, you should follow your heart and identifying the organization to contribute to, here are a few tips for making sure your donation is put to good use:
- Check the tax status of the charity organizations you are considering.
The IRS maintains a list of organizations who qualify for nonprofit status. You can find the information on which organizations have nonprofit status at the IRS’s website; look under “501(c)3” organizations.
Reviewing this list helps ensure that the organization you are considering is legitimate; unfortunately, fraudulent charities who take the money of well-meaning people are a fact of the nonprofit world. Additionally, if you are making your donations in order to claim it when you file your taxes and reduce your tax burden, the organization you donate to must have the IRS’s nonprofit status.
- Find a cause close to your heart.
There are charity organizations that serve all manner of causes. Some charity organizations are a established for helping military families, some support underprivileged children, some keep stray animals off the streets. Consider what matters to you and finding charity organizations that support a cause close to your heart is a great way to get the greatest sense of good from your contribution.
- Consider converting your goods into cash and making a cash donation instead.
Many times, the organization you donate to will use it to directly clothe or benefit the people they work with. Sometimes, they have resale or thrift shops that sell your donations and use the cash for their mission.
However, in some cases, the item that you want to donate may not be as useful to the organization as a cash value of it. For example, if you are considering contributing an unused timeshare or event tickets to a good cause, it may be difficult for a charity organization to make use of them. On the other hand, if you converted item to cash and then gave the cash to the organization, they can use the cash to meet any needs they have. This does not cost you anything other than the time it takes to sell it.
- Start local in your search for an organization.
Let’s start this point out with the caveat. There is absolutely nothing wrong with donating your used items to a non-local organization that matters to you. There are many long distance and international organizations who do great things and could greatly benefit from your donation.
However, by donating your goods to a local organization, the greatest value of those goods is available to serve the purpose of the group, since transportation and shipment are not a factor. Secondly, by positively impacting the area you live in, you are making your immediate environment a better place, which has a more direct impact on your own life.
It is fantastic that you are interested in donating used items to a great cause. In order to make the most of your contribution, look an organization that is recognized by the IRS and serves a mission that matters to you. Consider if your item or its cash value would do the greatest good, and how your donation will impact the local area you live in.