Guest Author - Rev. Jackie OŽNeal S.T.M.
Charity Navigator continues to be one of the most useful resources for me, as I proceed to do research to identify valuable information related to charities. Recently, I received a request for wheelchair in-kind donations for an organization I work with in Uganda, called BEHOD (http://www.behod.org).
Pastor Paul Bulenzi who operates the non-governmental agency, sent me photos of the wheelchairs the children are currently using, and they appeared to be in great disrepair, so it is an urgent need for an organization that serves HIV/AIDS orphans and the disabled. Through my research on Charity Navigator, I have been able to send BEHOD and Pastor Paul some resources to approach.
Charity Navigator also includes informative tip sheets based on question received from donors concerning issues ranging from identifying online scams to the tax benefits of giving. All of the information has relevance to what is on top of donor's minds.
I'm referring to a tip sheet called " Guide to Donating Non Cash Items." To reiterate, Charity Navigator asserts they receive questions on a daily basis from donors seeking o understand the procedures for donating non cash items to worthy causes. They have compiled a step-by-step process to help guide donors, and it is available on the Charity Navigator website (http://www.charitynavigator.org).
Most important of all, in terms of donating non cash items to worthy causes, Charity Navigator affirms the importance of identifying whether the non cash items to be donated will be useful to the organization. The majority of charitable organizations prefer new or almost new donations, so of course they suggest not sending items in disrepair. By donating new items, donors are thereby saving the organizatiosn the time and money needed to update old items, hence permitting the charity to do what it does best- fulfilling the goals of their mission.
They also raise an important point about the benefit to the donor of selling the item themselves. The donor will be aware of the precise value of the item sold, so it can be accurately reported to the IRS.