Donation of undistributed or unwanted usable personal property of an estate may have benefit to charities and organizations in the descendant’s community and beyond. Consider seeking out organizations that may need and use what the estate beneficiaries may not.
- Don’t bring garbage. Worn-out, and dirty items are not wanted. Most of these organizations are not-for-profits running on lean budgets. Often donation centers are staffed by volunteers. Sorting and discarding unusable items taxes their already stretched resources. Please have discretion when donating your items.
- Clean it! As one charity thrift store manager told us, “We’re glad to get donations but when we get a toaster oven full of crumbs, we’re getting a cleaning project. Yuk.”
Don’t be that guy.
- Call ahead. Save yourself a trip as most donation centers have irregular hours for drop-off.
- Check if they need what you’re bringing. Many donation centers have websites that will list what they’re currently accepting. Better yet call ahead and rundown what you’re bringing.
- Ask for a tax receipt for your donation.
- Clean and lightly worn coats, jackets, and blankets find a way to someone who needs one.
- Don’t leave items outside of donation boxes or location centers. This can cost the organizations $$$ and jeopardize their ability to have their boxes (often on donated space) in those locations.
- Consider a small $$$ donation. Most donation centers are run on stretched budgets, with dedicated volunteers, for the good of the community. A small donation makes you the hero of the day and likely does some good in someone’s life. Heck, a box of donuts sends a great message to volunteers.
- Check Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator is a website that rates legitimate charities and “charities”. Some very well-known “charities” spend very small percentages of their income on the causes they seemingly represent.
- Don’t forget animal shelters. Local animal shelters look for items not typically pet-related but may be found in most house cleanouts. Such as newspapers, towels, blankets, sheets, heating pads, and gently used pet supplies (Leashes, colors, dog bowls, etc.) Cleaning supplies also are much requested.
- Think national. While it may not be in your backyard, the organization looking for used X, Y or Z may be a Google search away, and may even provide postage assistance.