From spring cleans and moving house, to just de-cluttering your modern lifestyle – we all have physical resources (our stuff!) that can really make a difference if donated to the right Cause at the right time – in the right way. Here are six tips to let your previously loved stuff free – and help others while you’re doing it on forgood.
- Donate tactically. Not every homeless shelter needs blankets and not every ECD centre needs clothes. The forgood website lists very specific requirements from Causes across South Africa. Match your resources to the right need and you’ll create more impact.
- Communication is key. Communicate with the nonprofit organisation about what you are donating and HOW much you’re donating – let them choose when and to who those donations are applied. They are the experts after all!
- Deliver the goods if you can. Donating goods isn’t the hard part. Distributing the goods to beneficiaries who can really use them – that isn’t the hard part either. It’s the cost of sorting, packing and picking up that creates stress for a Cause. Often, the cost of picking up donations from around the Province outweighs the impact and value that the goods can create. It sounds harsh – but it’s true. If at all possible, make a trip to the Cause HQ, go say hi and drop off your donations. This creates the “impact margin” that can be passed onto beneficiaries.
- Quality not quantity. If you’re donating old clothes, toys or household items – make sure they are in a good condition. When we say previously loved stuff – we’d like South Africans to focus on the love bit. Don’t donate mismatched socks, unwashed clothes, ripped linen or broken toys. If you wouldn’t want to receive them as a gift – why would the beneficiary of a Cause? Package your donation well and clearly label everything.
- Tax efficiency. If you want to get a tax deduction, you must provide the fair estimated second-hand value of the items you donate. Before engaging with a Cause, check if they have an 18A Tax Exemption status, in which case they will be able to provide you with a Tax Donation Receipt.
- Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. Be clear about your capabilities and follow through with your commitment. A Cause asks for nothing more than consistency. This allows them to plan and act – making a difference to their chosen community.