By Sarah Currie-Halpern
Donating both food and non-food items is an excellent habit to develop because so many stakeholders benefit from it. The donor often receives a tax deductible receipt and that great feeling of doing good for others while diverting usable materials from landfills and incinerators. In many cases the donor also saves money by not paying the hauling cost to trash the useable materials. The end receiver benefits from getting a valuable item that they need, for free.
For this blog post, we will focus on non-food items only. Offices have many items that can be donated, including, but not limited to:
Offices furniture and other furniture items
Office supplies such as pens, pencils, markers, staplers and paper in useable condition
Branded materials (aka schwag) such as pens, mugs, mouse pads, etc.
Dishes, glassware and silverware
Offices have many different events that may be cause for donations such as:
Office move or renovation
Employees moving offices
Office clean out
A big event, conference, or party; etc.
Local donation partners differ in every area. Look for non-profits that work with public schools, homeless shelters, churches, donation or reuse centers, office furniture consigners or resellers, and other charities who take useable goods to benefit their clients. All 501 c3 charities and some others can offer a tax deductible receipt for a donation. Make sure to ask for your tax deductible receipt.
If you are having trouble convincing your boss or office manager that items should be donated ask your property manager how much it costs to put your items in the Bulk Trash. You will likely be surprised to find out how expensive it is to trash bulky items.
There is often a cost associated with donating, this cost is normally
associated with the cost to send a driver and vehicle to collect your items. Even with very large quantity furniture donation, we find that the cost to transport donations is usually less than the cost to place all those items in the Bulk Trash, especially considering the tax deductible receipt.
One other option to consider is internal donation. Perhaps a colleague or cleaning team member would appreciate receiving the items you want to donate- ask around! Permission might be required but often supervisors approve of giving items to someone internally because it’s better to donate the items to someone who wants them rather than trash them. One more thing that we have put into practice in a few offices is an Office Swap Spot. This is a neat looking bin, cabinet or box with signage that says "Office Swap Spot". Employees are educated about what can go in the Swap Spot, most of the time this includes office supplies and other small, useable, non-perishable items. We have seen a lot of success with Office Swap Spots in diverting office supplies from landfills and incinerators!
Does your office need help making a large donation? Contact email@example.com for help!