Ten Tips for End-of-Year Donations

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
December 29, 2016

End Of Year DonationsWith 2016 nearly behind us, it’s time to do that end-of-year purge that allows us to start 2017 afresh, give us a good kickoff to our New Year’s resolutions—and get that tax write off. People donate for a lot of different reasons: to lighten their material load, act on their commitment to sustainability, because they support our mission or to declutter. Goodwill is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, so your donations are also  tax-deductible.

No matter why you choose to donate to Seattle Goodwill, you can rest easy knowing your donation is creating a positive impact on our community through increased sustainability and our job training and education programs. Last year, thanks to generous donors like you, we helped over 9,700 people in our community through our programs.

Here are ten tips to help you with your end-of-year donations:

  1. We can take your electronics.
    When we can resell electronic items in our stores (online and brick and mortar), we go through a throughout wiping process using certified technology tools. When we can’t resell them, we work with E-Cycle Washington to make sure they’re properly recycled, and toxic materials stay out of landfills. This includes everything from that old CRT monitor collecting dust in your garage, to the iPhone you recently upgraded from.
  2. We can take your old garments and rags.
    A lot of people throw away damaged clothes, linens, and textiles because they think we can’t take them—but we can! Thanks to a partnership with King County & Seattle Public Utility’s Threadcycle program, we can take ALL textiles, as long as they’re not wet or moldy. We work with Threadcycle to ensure they’re reused and recycled—and kept out of landfills as much as possible.
  3. Grab a tax receipt, and fill it out.
    Your tax receipt is your ticket to your tax write off. Filling out the portion listing what you donated will help you in a few months when you file your taxes. Our receipts also have our Tax ID number, which will be asked for on your taxes.
  4. You can donate your car.
    Do you have a car taking up space in your garage, driveway, or yard? Through V-DAC, we can accept car donations—whether the vehicle is running or not. You can deduct the final selling price of your vehicle on your tax return—which is often more than what you might get for a trade-in or direct sale.
  5. Let us know about fragile items.
    Wrapping fragile items in newspaper or plastic bags, boxing them up, and writing “fragile” on the outside will help our donation station attendants know to take extra care with that box.
  6. Use rubber bands & baggies.
    When donating, making an effort to keep things that belong together—together—like shoes, game pieces, hardware that goes with an item, etc., is extremely helpful, and helps us raise more funds for job training and education. Here are some tips on maximizing the impact your donation has.
  7. We can accept financial gifts.
    Want to support Goodwill, but don’t have much stuff to give? Whether you can give $5, $25, or $100—your gift makes an impact.
  8. We partner with a number of services to help you get your big donations to us.
    We know that in the city, not everyone has a vehicle—let alone a vehicle big enough to move a couch or a dining table or a china cabinet. That’s why we’ve partnered with ZipCar, College Hunks, and Dolly to help you move your large donations. There are even some perks to using those services to donate. See the perks at the bottom of the page here.
  9. Check what we can and can’t accept before dropping your donation off.
    There’s not much on the list of items that we can’t accept, but checking in before driving to a donation site can save a lot of hassle. Check out our list of items we can and cannot accept. Have a question? Tweet us @SeattleGoodwill.
  10. Use Give Back Box.
    If you have some items to donate—but don’t have time during our open hours—check out Give Back Box. You load a box up with your donation, print a shipping label, and have your donation sent to us for free. It’s easy, environmentally friendly, and makes an impact on our community!

We have 42 donation sites throughout our region, and you can find the one nearest to you here.


Kim fancies herself a professional communicator. She has experience in writing, graphic design, and social media, and is always looking to expand her knowledge base into other fields of communication. She loves people, coffee & Seattle (including the rain).

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