Five things you should consider before donating your clothes

You have made up your mind about what you want to do with your used clothes; most are in good condition and could benefit someone somewhere.

How do you go about the process of giving them away? How do you ensure that they actually reach your intended beneficiaries? Where should you start? In this article, you will get some basic guidelines on how to go about the process of donating your used clothes.

Charitable contributions
First, the easiest and fastest way of donating your clothes is to find credible charities that specialize in the job of handling used clothes like Pick Up Please. Nonprofits handle donations differently; some simply convey what they get from you to beneficiaries, while others that receive too many clothes sell off a portion cheaply in third world countries to raise funds for their activities. Some donors consider this sales aspect unacceptable and should verify before releasing their contributions. Among the larger nonprofits active with used clothes donations are Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and AMVETS.

Second, if you are looking for beneficiaries closer to home rather than anonymous recipients halfway across the world, it is better to approach homeless shelters or orphanages with beneficiaries who can wear clothes your size. The beauty of this is the immediacy; you get to cut out the bureaucracy and know the people you are helping are only a stone throw away. In a few days, you might even spot someone dressed in an outfit you donated and looking much better than you ever did while wearing it.

Networking platforms
Third, you can try networking charities that provide clothes to disadvantaged job seekers who use them during interviews. Some nonprofits specialize in providing formal clothing to job hunters who want to look professional during recruitments. One of the best nonprofits in this field is Dress for Success, which provides business suits to underprivileged women searching for jobs.

Finally, find out the type of clothing that a specific charity requires. Some nonprofits like Dress for Success are more comfortable with clothes for women while The Glass Slipper Project in Canada provides prom dresses to deprived high school girls. You should be certain about what your preferred charity will accept and adjust your donation to it.

Legal status
Fourth, Before engaging any of these institutions, you might want to inquire about their legal status because some nonprofits may be facing legal challenges that prevent them from receiving donations. It is also important to find out how they handle donors. Nonprofits like Goodwill have a pickup service for donors and maintain thousands of locations across the US where you can also drop off donations.

Finally, before dropping off or having a charity pick up your donations, ensure the outfits are clean, fresh and well packaged. Just because you are giving away, an outfit to a needy person does not mean you ship it off with stains or sweaty odors. Many charities have such a thin staff; they hardly have time to clean up the millions of outfits they receive every month. Give them an easier time by lessening the load.