My friend, Christine, is doing the Walk to Fight Diabetes and needs our help. Even a few dollars, when donated by many can make a huge difference. My brother has diabetes, as do a number of people in Jeff’s family so this cause is near and dear to both of us.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled frugal blog.
I love donating items we no longer need to charity, but I hate having to figure out the value for our taxes. Last year, we donated a lot of stuff to charity when we cleaned out the house. Twenty years ago, this was a daunting task but the internet has made it so much easier to assign value to those donated items.
Clothing and household items
The Salvation Army as a valuation guide on their website. It doesn’t have everything on it, but it does have commonly donated items and has been very helpful in assigning value to my clients donations.
When donating to thrift stores, make sure you make a list of what you donated (4 pairs men’s pants, 3 pairs women’s boots, etc). Don’t just write down 3 bags of clothing. If you get audited, you are going to have a tough time getting that deduction to stick. If you are really worried, take a digital picture of the stuff you are donating. Then you have real proof. Remember, when donating items to charity, you can only claim a deduction for the fair market value of the item. I use the thrift store value to be safe.
Furniture and larger items
If you are donating items that have a higher value (more than just a few dollars), you might want to check out ebay to see how much that item is going for. Print out a few listings and attach that to your donation receipt. This is especially important when donating items that will not be resold but will be used by a program.
High value items
If you are donating items worth serious dollars (art, collectibles, etc), you should get an appraisal. Attach the appraisal to the donation confirmation.
As you start your spring cleaning (ya, right), see what you have around the house that could be donated to a good cause. Since monetary contributions are down, you can really help a charity by donating your stuff. The charity gets much needed income and other frugal people, like you, can get some awesome deals!
What is the strangest thing you saw donated to a charity or that you have donated to a charity?
Earlier this week, I heard about the closing of the MSPCA shelter in Springfield, MA. The shelter, which is scheduled to close at the end of March, is very near and dear to my heart. I have gotten a number of pets there over my life and currently have three cats from the shelter.