Donation Drop Boxes: Charity Or Not?

GREENSBORO, NC -- Part of keeping your home environment clutter free is cleaning out the old stuff. Some of you take your stuff to Goodwill, but you might see a donation box like this and think, "Isn't this just as good"?

2WTK took a look at a few of the drop boxes in our area. This green box is run by a company called Better World Recycling. On the box it clearly tells you, this is a for-profit company, not a charity. The Better World Recycling website claims to give back to whatever community the box is placed in. 2WTK made several calls and emails to the company to find out what local organization benefited, but so far they have not answered.

There are other boxes around town too. This gold one from Planet Aid at a shopping center off of Bridford Parkway. The box does say it is a charity. You can see that in the left hand side picture. Planet Aid sells your donations to wholesalers and then uses that money to fund programs in third world countries.

How the numbers shake out for how much of their proceeds they use on programs and services depends on which report you read. Planet Aid reports spending 84% of it's expenses on programs. CharityWatch's analysis of Planet Aid's 2012 tax forms shows the charity spends 27% of it's expenses on programs.

The Planet Aid spokesperson 2WTK talked to says they they stand behind their 84% and have survived audits by the IRS and other agencies.


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