1) You can help someone in your community. Your donations can make a big difference to those in northeast Indiana. Many area charities support their mission and benefit the community by either selling your donations in their retail store or giving them to their clients.
2) It’s easy. Drop your items off at your charity’s office, store or donation center. But beware — oftentimes, the small colorful bins located around northeast Indiana do not support local organizations. In fact, some are owned by out-of-state, for-profit businesses. If you are donating at a collection bin, research the organization you’re giving to, who it supports and how. Resources that can help you find a reputable charity include the Better Business Bureau and CharityWatch, which examines how non-profits spend their money.
3) They’ll come and get it (for free!). Some charities offer a free home pick-up. Make sure to call ahead to be put on the schedule, but let’s be reasonable — they’re probably not going to swing by for a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. However, if you’re cleaning for your upcoming holiday parties and need to get rid of half the stuff in your closets, or decided that now really is the time for a new couch, be sure to give them a call.
4) You can get a tax deduction. To do so, be sure to donate to a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization and consult IRS publication 526 for details on the types of contributions you can deduct, how much you can deduct, what records to keep and how to report your charitable contributions.
5) Your trash man will thank you. Giving to charity helps cut down on the waste stream. Instead of tossing out that perfectly good, but not perfect-for-you dish, shirt or decorative item, start a donation pile and drop off your goods the next time you’re out and about.
Article provided by Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana Inc., (260) 478-7617, fwgoodwill.org