Monday, February 14, 2011

On Junk and Charitable Donations

I was re-reading the previous entry and realized I have asterisked a comment with the intention to add a footnote, then I forgot to add the footnote. I wanted to comment on the types of things that we donate to charity. Most charities will either turn around and sell the items (so they can apply the cash where they need to apply it) or allow people to take the donated items for free.

Having worked with charitable donations before one of the things I always recommend is the simple question “If the item was free, would you take it” and “how much would you pay for the item”. The reason I recommend this is charities often get a volume of stuff that they simply cannot move on – they can’t sell it and they can’t give it away. In those cases, where you don’t really see any value in the item, I would recommend you throw the item away, even though it may be in good shape – it may simply have no value. Often, when a charity receives donations, the first step of the donation process is sorting and evaluating the items – and sometimes they go straight from the donation bin to the dumpster.

The footnote I wanted to leave was simple – just use a little discretion and don’t use charities to get rid of your junk. If it is junk, just throw it away.

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