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Donating Items to Non-profit Agencies

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.

Consignment Shops

  • When you take items to consignment shops, the owner will choose what they will and will not take. Some shops may be choosier than others
  • Typically, you receive a portion of the profits or a credit to spend at the shop. You cannot use the value of these items as a tax credit.


  • Donate your unneeded items to needy folks and get a tax credit for you!
  • Get rid of your clutter! Recycling feels good!

Non-profit agencies

  • Agencies that accept donations are Goodwill, Salvation Army, Hope Rescue Mission, local shelters, thrift stores, etc. There may be other agencies in your area that can be found in the Yellow Pages.
  • Call the agency or go on their website for their ‘wish list’.
  • Some agencies will pick up large items. You will need to document the donation if they don’t give you a receipt.
  • If you donate items to your church or synagogue, keep the request from the newsletter or bulletin and attach the list of items or receipts to that request for tax purposes

Tax credit basics (non-profit agencies)

  • If you itemize your deductions, you may be eligible to deduct your donations. Consult a tax accountant for details and applications
  • You must file form 8283-Noncash Charitable Contributions with your 1040.
  • You will need to estimate the fair market value of the items. Use Publication 526-Charitable Contributions and Publication 561-Determining the Value of Donated Property for further information. If you use TurboTax, the fair market value is computed for you.
  • Go to www.salvationarmyusa.org for valuation ranges of donated goods
  • Go to IRS website at www.irs.gov for additional information

What do I donate?

  • Clothing-Should be stylish, clean, not damaged or stained
  • Toys-Engage your children by encouraging them to donate their old toys to children who are less fortunate. After birthdays and holidays is an ideal time to clean out. Children are more willing to give up old toys if they have new ones to replace them.
  • Household items-Should be clean and not broken.


Vali Heist is a Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She also writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called 'Ask the Organizer' and has a radio program called 'Organize This!' on BoomerGenerationRadio.com.

Vali's bachelor's degree is in Business Administration from Shippensburg University and her Master's Degree is in Higher Education from Kutztown University. Vali has an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education including training, administration, project management, writing, and editorial production.

Her passion has always been organization and how it relates to the simplification of work and personal life in order to enjoy both to the fullest. Her ultimate goal is to continue finding simple, easy to implement ideas that work in the real world and pass them on to her clients.

Member Of:

  • Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Greater Philadelphia Chapter of National Association of Professional Organizers
  • National Association of Professional Organizers

  • Would you like to reprint this tip sheet in your publication -- or distribute it to a wider audience? Click here for reprinting instructions.

    Click here if you would like to submit a tip sheet or checklist...

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