From Charity Navigator: Spring is here! Along with warmer weather, blooming flowers, and the beginning of baseball season comes another tradition: Spring Cleaning.
It is tempting to get rid of excess stuff that has accumulated by donating it to charity. After all, you don’t need it anymore!
So, how can an informed donor clean up the house and give away non-cash items to charity while still remaining respectful of the charity’s needs?
Cash is King!
In most instances, a cash donation is far superior to a non-cash one (especially when responding to disasters). Monetary donations give charities the flexibility to spend on what they need, rather than forcing them to use items that may not be ideal. One solution is to hold a garage or yard sale to convert items to cash first, and then donate the money to the charity directly.
Always remember to think locally first – it makes little sense for either you or the charity to travel long distances hauling bulky items that might not even be useful to the charity.
Be sure to contact the charity first before showing up with a bunch of items you wish to donate. Let them know what you have to offer, so that they can decide if the donation is something they find useful.
Consider Tax Implications
There are specific IRS rules for the tax deductions of noncash donations and the tax benefits of giving!
Enjoy the spring, and always give intelligently!