When you donate your gently-used goods to legitimate charities in Southwest Florida, you're helping to support essential programs and services for people in need. You're also providing jobs for the employees of these nonprofits, and you're supporting the local economy.
But when you drop these goods in a parking lot collection bin, you're more likely supporting a for-profit salvage company, operating from out-of-area, or even out-of-state. These for-profit businesses have zero obligation to help anyone except their owners and stakeholders.
PLEASE TAKE THE PLEDGE TO KNOW WHERE YOUR DONATIONS ARE GOING!
You can make sure that your donations will benefit the people who need them most by following a few simple guidelines.
1) Give to charities you know and trust.2) If you're not familiar with a nonprofit's mission, research before you give.3) Donate at a site with attendants on duty so that you can ask questions — and then make sure to get a receipt. All legitimate charities will provide you with a donation receipt for your tax records.
IF A COLLECTION BIN IS THE MOST CONVENIENT WAY FOR YOU TO DONATE, take these safeguards to determine if the bin is operated by a legitimate nonprofit:
1) Check the collection box carefully to see if it is operated by a known nonprofit.
2) When you check, read the organization's name carefully. Many times scammers will use names similar to a legitimate charity in order to deceive potential donors.
3) If you don't recognize the name of the business, do some quick research. If there's a phone number or website listed on the bin, check it out. Ask directly if the organization is a nonprofit agency, and if your donation is tax-deductible. Only donations to IRS-approved nonprofit organizations are tax-deductible.
4) If there's no identifying information, DON'T USE THE BIN!
No matter who you choose to support with your donations, it is our hope that you give as much thought to donating your clothes as you would to donating your money.
Please take the pledge now, and ensure that your donations will always help people in our community!