List of places to donate in-kind items and stuff in Austin

It’s the number-one call we get: “Where can I donate…?” At least once a week, someone tries to stump us with an item they want to give away.

Well, we’re happy to help!

Your first thought may be to drive it over to Goodwill, and that would be great! They accept almost any household item, clothing, books and media, toys, and anything you’d find in a garage or attic. But maybe you’d like to explore an alternative to Goodwill.

See below for a list of places that accept donated items, but first, review these general guidelines for donating stuff:

1. DO GIVE ITEMS IN CLEAN AND WORKING CONDITION. Clothing should be free of holes, stains and too much wear and tear. No hazardous waste. And no junk: A box of random  Tupperware lids, for example, probably won’t benefit anyone.

2. DON’T DONATE A BURDEN. If it’s large, they must consider where to store it before it’s used. If it doesn’t fit their clients or mission – an old sewing machine to the animal shelter, for example – now your donation becomes something a staff person has to deal with… rather than having a client being what they have to deal with.

3. DO GIVE OFFICE FURNITURE AND SUPPLIES that the staff of the nonprofit can use. The staff at most mid-sized nonprofits are working with rickety office chairs, noisy printers and limited supplies of pens, copy paper … even cleaning products and coffee. You would be surprised at how grateful a nonprofit office staff can be over a donation of good coffee.

4. DON’T TELL THEM HOW TO USE IT. Even if they do want it and need it, they may have other plans for how to leverage it.

5. DO DONATE A VEHICLE. Not all nonprofits are equipped to accept your car or boat, but it’s worth asking. Check out these tips for donating a car to charity.

6. DON’T EXPECT TO GIVE IT DIRECTLY TO PERSON IN NEED. Most nonprofits are bound to protect their clients and families and not identify them as “people in need” to maintain their privacy and protect them against predators.

7. DO SCHEDULE A PICK-UP. Some do pick-ups (Salvation Army), but you may have to call and make arrangements.

8. DON’T GIVE TO A FOR-PROFIT. Also, be aware that stores like Savers  and ThriftTown buy donated items from the nonprofits like Easter Seals that received them. It’s all on the up-and-up, but maybe not quite how you would expect it to work.

9. DO EXPECT A RECEIPT AND A THANK YOU. Remember, the fair market value of every item you donate can count toward a tax deduction if you itemize your taxes and if the amount you donate over the year substantially effects your return. 

10. CONSIDER ONE OF THESE OTHER WAYS TO GIVE YOUR STUFF AWAY… 

Gone for Good is an Austin organization that picks up your donated items and sells them, then donates the proceeds from the sale of that item to the charity of your choice. You get to claim the donated items as a deduction on your tax return, just as you would if you donated it to Goodwill. Gone for Good sells through social media, our website, estate sales, and  a booth at the Antique Marketplace on Burnet Rd.

What do I do with…is a page on the City of Austin website that lets you type in a thing and then find out how to donate, recycle or get rid of it.

Freecycle.org is an online message board that lets you post (and search for) items that you just want to give away.

Austin Creative Reuse accepts donations of any bunch of stuff that could be considered arts-and-crafty.

Austin Materials Marketplace facilitates the exchange of building materials between businesses.

See the comments below for even more ideas and advice! 

 

ACCEPTING GENERAL DONATIONS

BookSpring

Easter Seals

Goodwill

FreeStore Austin

Manos de Cristo

Salvation Army

SafePlace

The Settlement Home

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores

Treasure City Thrift (supports Inside Books Project and other local nonprofits)

Top Drawer Thrift (supports Project Transitions)

SPECIFIC DONATIONS

Appliances and Building Materials/Recycled House Fixtures

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Central Texas Food Bank

Art Supplies, Art Materials

Arc of the Arts Studio

Austin Partners in Education

Creative Action

Imagine Art

Books

Recycled Reads for Austin Libraries

Inside Books Project

BookSpring

Cell Phones

Cell Phones for Soldiers

SAFE Austin (formerly SafePlace)

Clothing – Women’s professional clothing, shoes, bags

Dress for Success

Most public schools accept clothing for their “clothes closets” for students

Computers

Austin Partners in Education

Goodwill Computer Works

Latinitas

Diapers

Austin Diaper Bank

Furniture

See General Donations above, specifically those with thrift stores

Home Items, Cleaners, Paper Goods

Ronald McDonald House Charities

Medical supplies, equipment, wheelchairs

AGE of Central Texas

Austin Smiles

Office Equipment

Manos de Cristo

Pet Items, old towels, blankets

Austin Pets Alive

Austin Humane Society

Photography and Video Equipment

Creative Action

Latinitas

School & Office Supplies

Austin Bat Cave

Austin Partners in Education

Central Texas Food Bank

Have we missed any? Please add them in the comments below and we’ll update our list.

About Monica Williams 718 Articles
GivingCity is Austin's only cause-focused media company helping people and organizations understand our community and inspiring them to make it better. Online, in print, broadcast and live. Learn more.

14 Comments on List of places to donate in-kind items and stuff in Austin

  1. The Capital Area Food Bank of Texas accepts the following in-kind donations to help us build capacity for the 300 Partner Agencies we work with:

    refrigerators and freezers
    vehicles for food transportation
    reusable shopping bags for Moble Food Pantry clients
    office furniture and equipment
    office supplies
    media sponsorships and air time
    food drive materials
    printing services
    agency and staff training and professional development

  2. Manos de Cristo’s Basic Needs program needs new or gently used clothing for the whole family and food donations for our Food Pantry including:
    •Tuna •Canned Vegetables
    •Peanut Butter •Canned Tomatoes
    •Bread •Fresh Fruit
    •Beans •Soup
    •Eggs •Fresh Vegetables

    Website: http://www.manosdecristo.org/food.html

    The Manos Education program currently needs a lockable storage cabinet for their nursery area to store toys and equipment. http://www.manosdecristo.org/education.html

    Manos de Cristo is located at 4911 Harmon Avenue, Austin, TX 78751
    Main number: (512) 477-7454
    http://www.manosdecristo.org

    Thank you!

  3. Thanks, Monica! In addition to accepting items at our Family Stores, The Salvation Army accepts donations of clothing and small household items for women and children at The Austin Shelter for Women and Children at 4523 Tannehill, 79721, 9 to 4 weekdays. Also we accept donations for our clothing closet at the Downtown Shelter, 501 East 8th Street, 78701, also 9 to 4 weekdays, and we are especially in need of large women’s shoes there.

    The clothing donated at both of these shelters benefits people coming in off the streets, getting out of abusive relationships, and getting back on their feet with jobs and careers. So professional clothing as well as casual is appreciated.

    Thanks for making this information available!

    Jan

  4. Notebooks, folders, pencils, pens, and HEB gift certificates for healthy snacks are always welcome donations to Austin Bat Cave. We teach free writing programs to Austin-area kids.

  5. Hi!

    ColorCancer is an Austin-based non-profit providing free at-home care supplies to cancer patients in Central Texas through our Care Box Program. We accept in-kind donations of NEW at-home care supplies (wide variety) – we offer patients a choice of over 70. Most in need by our patients include:

    ALL ITEMS MUST BE NEW AND UNOPENED:
    Ensure (nutritional supplement)
    Ensure Plus (nutritional supplement)
    Ensure Complete (nutritional supplement)
    Glucerna 1.5 Cal (nutritional supplement)
    Ensure Pudding

    Button-up Shirts
    Zip-Up Sweatshirts
    Neck Pillow
    Non Skid Socks

    Welcome to call to learn about other item accepted. 512.296.2180

  6. Austin Free-Ne, a non-profit offering free computer labs, clinics and classes to the homeless and elderly, is in need of:
    Toner
    Printer Ink
    Paper
    General Office Supplies (Pens/pencils/etc)
    Fax Machine
    Light Snacks

  7. Wishalizer.org has over 3,000 searchable items from 60+ local animal shelter and rescue wish lists. Search for the item you want to donate, and up pops a list with all the local animal welfare organizations that have requested that item as an in-kind donation. It’s a new web application; Free; No ads; Just there to do good. Please give it a try *and* share!

  8. Body wash, lotion, perfume, makeup, facial cleansers, etc. Donate where?

    High end business dress attire for women in various sizes and seasons. Donate where?

  9. Where can I donate jigsaw puzzles (300+ pieces)? I’m hoping a senior center or rec center could use them.

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