Money or Clothes for Charity?

Which is better to give to charity, money or clothes?

That depends on a couple of factors. Which do you have more of?  And which does the charity need more?  The same question goes for household items or anything else you are thinking of donating.

Any charity can use money, of course. If you want to donate items, consider how the charities make use of them. Some thrift stores sell items to raise money for their charity programs. For them, giving money directly may be a better option. Others have training programs, where the store is run to provide training, employment, and opportunities for low-income or poorly-qualified individuals. For those charities, donating items in good condition is very helpful.

Whatever you do, don’t donate junk. If it is worn out, broken, or otherwise useless, throw it out yourself. Don’t make them pay the garbage fees to do it for you.  Unless you know that there is a program to turn clothing into rags, don’t donate things that are no longer wearable.

If you are donating to a thrift store, shop there or at least wander around the aisles a bit and look at the kinds of things they sell. Mismatched lids?  They can be a real find, or they can be garbage. The same goes for tools, computer parts, and other items. Do they sell all books, or only hardbacks or books in good condition?

Some charities only accept new items or money.  If you are a super shopper and you can find toys for children at great prices, buy the items to donate.  If you are going to go to high-end stores and pay full retail, donate the money. You can write it off your taxes and they can use their connections to stretch it further and benefit more children.  The same goes for shoes, clothing, and other items.

If you donate antiques or other valuable items, know the value so the charity can receive full price, or sell it yourself and donate the money for everyone’s best benefit.