Drop Off Donations at Goodwill: What You Need to Know

Person preparing to drop off donations at Goodwill

Goodwill is an organization that was created to assist people with finding employment. This organization has helped over 35 million people to receive needed goods and services. Hundreds of thousands of people have been able to find work through Goodwill’s aid. They are also a nonprofit agency with a 501 status. This simply means that Goodwill is a tax-exempt group that doesn’t pay income taxes on the donation money they receive or the items given to their charity. They also work to help disenfranchised and poverty-stricken people. While the Goodwill is a charity that helps people, they still need funding. Most of their funding comes from drop off donations.

Goodwill is primarily funded by their thrift stores. They receive donations from supporting parties, but their thrift stores make up the bulk of their financial backing. The organization firmly believes in being accountable to people, the planet and their performance as a charitable organization.

You should seriously think about giving to Goodwill to help maintain their cause. Your donations make it possible for people to find employment and to obtain material goods needed to improve their lives. Keep reading to find out the best way to donate your goods to Goodwill.

What can you donate to Goodwill?

Goodwill accepts many different types of items. You can drop off donations at designated centers. Consumers often give a wide variety of items for other people to purchase and use. Many items are usually stuff that people no longer want. Sometimes, people give away brand new things that they have never used. Other times they give away lightly used items. Gently used items are normally donated in good shape. Some people have been authorized to give away other individual’s belongings to charities. You can give a lot of different things to Goodwill. Here is a quick list of the items that you can contribute through a Goodwill donation center.

  • Clothes
  • Footwear
  • Children’s Toys and Games
  • Computers, TVs and other Electronics
  • Accessories
  • Sports Equipment
  • Housewares
  • Furniture Items
  • Linens
  • Small Tools
  • Kitchen Items
  • Nick-knacks
  • Art Pictures
  • Antiques
  • Old Collectible Items
  • Radios and Stereos
  • CDs, DVDs, Blu Ray Discs,
  • Books and Magazines
  • Bedding
  • Curtains

The list of things that you can donate to Goodwill is virtually unlimited. However, there are plenty of things that you can’t donate to Goodwill. We’ll discuss that later. Goodwill recommends donating items that you would be willing to give to a friend or family member. Once again, we’ll go into detail about what is not acceptable further in this article. Knowing where to donate household items is important and so is knowing what to give.

Things you Should not Donate

A Goodwill donation center will accept many different items. Even though this is the case, they don’t accept everything. You must check with a local Goodwill donation center in your area to figure out what they will or won’t take. Goodwill organizations will explain where to donate household items. Some Goodwill locations have their own set of rules for drop off donations. Remember, one Goodwill location isn’t necessarily the same another. Also, if you can’t put an item to good use it will not be a good item for drop off donations. Here is a summary of the items that you should not take to most drop off centers.

  • Do not donate any items that need to be repaired. Broken items that are chipped or cracked should not be given to Goodwill. These items cause a lot of problems for the workers and the people who purchase these products from a Goodwill location.
  • Box spring mattresses are not a good item to donate. Goodwill generally won’t accept them because they’re too hard to manage and sell to the public. They also worry about infecting their donation centers with bed bugs or other types of pests. If you are able to give a mattress for drop off donations at Goodwill, then you should follow their guidelines. They typically want you to make sure these items are clean and that the items have been encased inside of plastic. Remember each donation center has its own rules.
  • Paints, construction materials, and heavy-duty machinery should not be dropped off to donation centers. The average person generally doesn’t need these materials and they are hard for Goodwill centers to sell. Besides, most people who purchase these items generally will not shop at a Goodwill location to purchase them.
  • Extremely large items such as pianos, water heaters, smokers, pool tables, swing sets, water heaters, pianos, large-sized generators, and home playground equipment are not good items to donate. These items are impractical for any Goodwill drop off donations box and they are also impractical for storage. However, some locations that have the size and the market, and can accept some of the items listed here. Still, most Goodwill stores don’t take these items with drop off donations.
  • You should never donate household chemicals with your drop off donations. These substances can cause serious problems for people and they should not be taken to Goodwill.
  • You should never think about giving any type of medication to the Goodwill. This is not the place to give these items. The reason being is that the Goodwill does not sell medications and they are dangerous to give to people.
  • Fireworks, ammunition, and guns should not be taken to a Goodwill donation center. Any type of ammunition or firearm that is donated will be immediately removed from Goodwill’s premises. The Goodwill does not promote the use of these items and they simply will not sell these times to people. Finding any one of these items inside of a drop off donations contribution will raise concern.
  • Food donations are not accepted because the Goodwill doesn’t provide donated foods to the public.

These are the primary items that you should never take to any Goodwill donation center. The items should never be mixed in with other kinds of drop off donations. Each of the items mentioned above has designated places that can process them. Having information for knowing where to donate household items will benefit you greatly through the donation process.

Prepare Items for Drop Off Donation

Goodwill does not prepare items before they sell them. They don’t wash clothes, wipe off dirt or dust from items, or put in missing screws or parts that some items need. If you’re going to donate any material goods, then you should clean and prepare them. Knowing where to donate household items is a part of the preparation process. You also should make sure that clothes are washed and clean before giving them away to a Goodwill store. Understanding how and where to donate household items to Goodwill is useful for donation procedures.

Some Goodwill sites have practical donor tips for contributors. Read these hacks to find out  that you should and should not do before you donate.

  • Do not give away anything you want to keep. Sometimes, you can give away stuff that is brand new, or usable items accidentally get mixed in with old things. To avoid this problem, make sure you thoroughly check through everything that you plan on giving away.
  • Some people accidentally give away money and other valuable items. They can make this mistake by not checking the pockets of old clothing or looking through the inside of old purses. There have been recorded cases where customers found thousands of dollars that a person has left in the pockets of donated items. If you can afford to give this kind of money away, then more power to you. However, most people like to hang onto their valuable cash and possessions. Just make sure to check through your pockets before donating.
  • Separate all items into different containers, boxes or bags before you donate. This will make it easier for Goodwill service reps to organize and categorize different items.
  • Once again, don’t donate items that are dirty, broken, or hazardous to a person’s health. You should also take hangers from clothing.
  • Make sure that you have all the pieces and parts to games, electronics, computers, and sets. If you don’t, then you must figure out if the item is worth giving away or not. Goodwill representatives will also show and tell you where to donate household items.

The main thing you should remember is to donate items that are new or gently used. These are the best things that you can give away to Goodwill. You can find out more information about the giving process when you have to figure out where to donate household items

Where should you donate goods to Goodwill?

When you decide to donate items to Goodwill, you have a couple of options available. First, you can take items to a local Goodwill donation center. Your local Goodwill website will explain where to donate household items. They typically have a store locator that will automatically tell you where to go. The site will also provide you with useful information about the best places to donate various goods from your residence. Having this special knowledge will allow you to better understand where to donate household items.

You can donate items to drop off boxes that are located around a community or around a city. These special drop off boxes are also called drop off bins. Not every city or community has a drop off box and they’re usually positioned within select areas. You will have to figure out if your community has this option for taking drop off donations. You can contact a local Goodwill center to find out more information.

Goodwill also has a pickup service for some of its locations. However, not all Goodwill locations will collect items from donor homes. This service is only available within some select communities or cities. You will have to contact a Goodwill store in your area to determine if they will haul unwanted items away from your house.

Keep in mind that Goodwill partners with third party hauling companies to collect donor goods. This is another great option for informing customers about where to donate items. A third party transportation service can retrieve articles from a donor’s home. They can also deliver material items to Goodwill or to a location designated by the Goodwill charity. Some stores will even have their own Goodwill trucks and staff who will perform this task. Still, this is not the norm for this organization. Third party pick up service is just another great way for homeowners and local residents to get rid of items.

Don’t forget that people don’t just donate material goods to Goodwill. They also donate cash. You can make a cash donation through select Goodwill websites. Cash donations are tax deductible and they can be set up for reoccurring payments. You will have to search online to find the specific details about how to donate cash through a website portal.

Finally, some websites will allow you to donate goods by scheduling a drop off time for you to bring the items to a donor center. You can also schedule a time when Goodwill or a third party representative will come to pick up items. The internet simply helps to make donations more flexible and less time-consuming.

Business and Special Drop Off Donations

You were just given a lot of information about where to donate household items. Now, we’re going to look at business and special donations for Goodwill. The Goodwill also takes business donations and special donations from other organizations or companies. Businesses generally give Goodwill certain items such as surplus merchandise that is left over from previous shopping season. They also provide the organization with merchandise returns and obsolete store items that are no longer popular for sale.

Brand new items that have been mildly damaged can be donated. Store items that fall into this category typically have minor damage that makes them useless for selling to customers. However, the damage is very minor and would be considered a gently used item by Goodwill standards. Store fixtures and business equipment are also sold as well.

When a business donates to Goodwill it will help them to move merchandise, save money on storage space, enhance a business’s image by partnering with Goodwill and providing great tax benefits for Goodwill users. Recycling and supporting the development of a workforce are two other benefits that should encourage businesses to give to Goodwill.

Ultimately, you should give away your new or gently used items to Goodwill. This is a great way for you to support an important cause and help to make life better for millions of people around the world.