Goodwill Donation Guide

With the holiday season coming to an end, now is a great time to sit back and reflect on the many things we have to be grateful for. If you’re considering donating to others who may be less fortunate, Goodwill is an excellent organization to consider. Whether you plan to donate your time, money, or select items, read on to learn more about the best ways you can give to Goodwill this season.

Express your sentiments of love, togetherness, and a feeling of giving that will expand beyond the holiday season with your helpful gift. The best things to do before donating to Goodwill are:

Find your local Goodwill and ask questions

Know what items you cannot donate

Itemize any donations for tax purposes

Find what else you can donate

Find Your Local Goodwill and Ask Questions

While Goodwill is a nationwide organization, each location has its own set of unique rules and requirements. Aside from the rules, it’s a good idea to talk to a few people at your local Goodwill to find out what is on their gift giving list for the holiday season. For example, areas of the country where it’s especially cold will often ask for coats, while some places may prefer things like baby items if it’s an area with a lot of mothers in need. Talk to your representatives and find out what items are in high demand for your specific area.

Items You Cannot Donate

Even if it’s in the spirit of love, there are some items most Goodwill locations simply cannot accept. Some of these items include mattresses, old tires, cribs, and carpeting. The main reason these items are usually not accepted is that they could be a safety hazard. For example, a used crib could pose a risk to a baby or small child if it’s damaged. Make sure you have a full list of the things you can and cannot donate before you spend the time to put everything together. Some organizations like Toys for Tots have their own guidelines, too. Always check with whatever charitable organization you plan to donate to in advance.

Remember the Tax Write-Off


When you give to Goodwill, you should receive a receipt that will have a simple, itemized list of the things you’ve donated. You can use this list to compile your charitable tax write-off at the end of the year. Consult with your tax preparer or the IRS website to find out what you can and cannot deduct, and how much it will be per item. These amounts change frequently, and Goodwill has no control over what the IRS considers the write-off value to be.

What Else Can I Donate?


If you don’t have any new or used items you can donate, consider a monetary donation instead. When you give money to Goodwill, it goes back to the local community and provides an array of helpful services to the people who live near you. Goodwill has been helping to improve lives and give people opportunities for many decades. Their work goes far beyond your local Goodwill thrift store, and it extends out into the community by offering people employment and a better quality of life. Make your holiday season more memorable with your charitable donation.