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Traditionally, the time before the end of the year is a time of giving. Americans gave more than $335 billion to non-profit organizations in 2013 according to America’s largest independent charity evaluator, Charity Navigator.

Donating your noncash items can be just as valuable to organizations. Here’s how you can be charitable beyond your checkbook.

Donate your stuff. Before tossing unused items into the trash, ask yourself if someone can benefit from them. There are many places that will accept noncash donations, be it clothing, electronics, children’s toys, etc. Larger items, such as home appliances, can be donated to the ReStore in Rapid City and Spearfish.

Sell your stuff. Then donate the proceeds. By selling the items yourself, you know the exact value of the donation you can report to the IRS and don’t have to worry about estimating the amount for your tax returns.

There are many benefits to making financial donations, but donating belongings is another way you can make the most of it.

– Written by: Black Hills Parent


Looking to donate noncash items to a worthy cause? Below are the steps Charity Navigator recommends taking in order to maximize the impact of your noncash contributions.

Determine whether or not the items you wish to  donate are useful.

Most charities can only make use of items that are new, unused, or nearly new. If you don’t have any use for your old, tattered couch, rusty washing machine, or other used item, chances are neither will a charity. If you think that the items you wish to donate may be of use to someone else proceed to Step 2.

Consider selling your items and donating the proceeds to charity.

When you sell the items yourself you unburden charities of any time and money they would have to spend on selling or refurbishing items, allowing them to spend more resources directly fulfilling their missions. Whether you decide to sell your items and donate the cash, or your items may be of use to a charity, proceed to Step 3.

Start locally to find the right charity for you.

In order to avoid transportation costs that can lower the impact of your donation, look first in your local community to find a charity to support with your noncash contribution. Call around and ask charities if they accept the kind of items you are looking to donate, and if they don’t find out if they have any suggestions of a charity that does.