When you’re donating to a charity or an organization of your choice, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind to organize your efforts so that they end up in the correct place. It’s also important to make sure that you’re doing things legally. If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll understand practically everything you should know about donating in bulk the next time you prepare to give to a cause you believe in.
As with anything you donate, you’ll also need to have documentation. This means that for tax purposes, you’ll need a receipt of your donation to whatever organization or charity that you choose to donate to.
It’s important to fill out an IRS form 8283 if the amount that you donate is anything over 500 dollars. Taking the time to organize your receipts now makes tax season much easier down the road.
When tax season does come, everything will be on file, and none of your monetary exchanges should appear “under the table.” Even if your donations are for charity, you could potentially run into tax fraud and other problems the next time you file if you fail to note your donations. Luckily, many charities offer the option to email your receipt to you, meaning it’s easier to search through and find every digital receipt from the year.
You will need to appraise any high-value items that you donate. If your donation exceeds the value of 500 dollars, you’ll require an appraisal, especially if it’s a non-cash item that you’re unsure about donating. When you’re thinking about bulk donations, you should consider the value of each item and the bulk donation as a whole.
You may not reach that amount with each donation, but there is always the potential that you could, which is why it’s wise to appraise at any value. If you haven’t documented your items yet and don’t know the value altogether, then you should take pictures of everything you intend to donate.
This way, you can have an accurate appraisal when the time comes, and you will also have formal documentation. By doing this, you’ll also potentially have two forms of documentation: written and picture documents. This extra effort can give you a leg up for tax and legal purposes later on.
Choosing a Charity
One thing you’ll need to think about when picking a charity to give to is which charity you have in mind. It’s also important to know why you want to donate to that charity in particular. It’s worth your time to research the charity and learn as much as possible about them.
One thing you can do that will save you a lot of time and effort is to look for online ratings or news stories. You might not find everything that you need immediately, depending on how well they have themselves established online, but you can get a general idea of their practices.
Or, if they have a working website, then you might find everything that you need to know just from that initial search. Make sure you’re looking for information from alternate, reputable sites as possible so that you know your efforts will be going to the right causes.
You might discover that the company you’re looking into doesn’t just donate wholesale women’s handbags for the homeless and less fortunate but also for those who come from abusive environments that need support. While discovering that an organization does even more than you initially thought is the ideal outcome, you may also find that other organizations fail to fulfill their promises.
Making a Personal Appearance
You can also visit the establishment yourself to get a feel for the organization and what they stand for. By showing up in person, you can get a sense of their values and purpose.
If you still like what you see, you can always volunteer to help first and work with them before making any decisions. When you have a real-world, hands-on experience like this, it’s usually the best way to find out what mission you’re working for.
Above all else, when you’re getting to know the organization, you will need to find out how reputable they are so that you can better understand the impact your donation can make.
Take Your Time
One thing you should always avoid is making rash decisions. It’s typically wise to avoid making donations over the phone or through unfamiliar digital platforms.
You’ll want to know the people you’re giving to so that you can hold them accountable if and when the time comes. This also prevents any fraudulent activity from happening, so you can be confident that you know where everything goes after you make your donation. Taking your time also ensures you have a chance to discover smaller organizations that may potentially need your donation more than larger charities.
Determine How Much To Give
Something that many people struggle with is figuring out exactly how much to give. Some may have more to offer than others when it comes to donations, and that’s OK.
The general rule of thumb to stick with as an individual donating is that you should base the amount you give on your monthly income. This means that whatever you’re able to give at the end of the month after all bills, rent or mortgage, groceries, debts, etc. You can start to add the remaining amounts to determine what seems right to allocate for donation. But, when dealing with bulk quantities of non-cash donations, it’s always a good idea to have some kind of idea of where to start and stop.
Consider the value of your items and the physical space they take up. It’s always a good idea to reach out to the charity you have in mind to ask how much they would appreciate taking on.
Less Is More
Another problem people often face is how many charities to give to. There is no right or wrong answer here, but overall, it’s typically better to provide the bulk of it to just a few places of your choosing. You will generally get the best results this way. Depending on which missions you favor most, it may help to divide your bulk donation amounts into percentages.
For example, if you’re basing the donations on three locations, it might break down to 50 percent going toward your top pick, 30 percent to your second, and 20 percent to your third.
When making a large donation, you need to ensure that you have everything organized first. This will ensure a smooth transition as you’re going through the process. Communicating with the organizations is essential when you’re considering donating bulk items.
There’s a lot you need to know about donating in bulk, but this decision is still worthwhile. Whether it’s a bulk donation of one item or a donation of many different items, your large donation can have a wide-ranging impact.