Junk Donations: Is Your Donation Costing Goodwill?

GREENSBORO, NC -- Chances are you have donated to Goodwill at some point in your life. It's an easy way to pay it forward. You get a tax write off and Goodwill sells your stuff. That's the way it is supposed to work.

Seven million pounds of salvage items were kept out of local landfills last year. It's good for folks who could use the items and it's good for our environment. But not every donation is usable. Last year, Goodwill estimates about 15% of revenue went to paying landfill fees because of junk donations.

We don't want to cost Goodwill money, so Today on 2WTK at 5:30pm we're going to show you what helps and what hurts.

Deanna Miller, Marketing Specialist with Goodwill, will show us the difference between a good donation and a junk donation.

Ahead of time she told us broken furniture is a junk donation. If something is broken, the local Goodwill doesn't have any way to fix it. So if you give Goodwill a broken piece of furniture, ripped fabric, they can't sell it. They either spend time finding another organization like the Barnabas Project that can do something with it or it costs Goodwill to get rid of it.

When it comes to clothes, if it is stained, ripped, missing all the buttons-- someone else can't wear it, and Goodwill can't fix it. Most of the time it ends up getting trashed. Although there are some salvage companies that will buy some items.

When you donate to Goodwill, you a tax receipt. But do you know how much should you claim?

Make a complete list of the items you're donating. Then find the current re-sale value of the clothes. Both the Salvation Army and Goodwill publish value guides on their website. Click on the organization to be linked to their list.

2 Wants to Know looked into some of the Salvation Army's listed values. They say a jacket can go for $4 to $12, depending on the condition. A dress is valued at anywhere from $4 to $20, again depending on the age and condition. You determine the value of the items then add it up, and that's what you report to the IRS.


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