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4 Ways to Donate to Charity Without Writing a Check

These ideas can help you de-clutter your home and earn a tax write-off

By Ashley Eneriz

When it comes to donating to charity, sometimes our budgets don’t allow us to be as generous as we we’d like. But you needn't always open your wallet to help others. Here are four ways to give back that don’t involve writing a check or making a credit-card donation. As a bonus, you might even declutter your home and earn a tax-write off.

Credit: Getty Images

Donate Your Clothes to Job Seekers

Have a few suits or pieces of professional wear hanging in your closet that you’re tired of wearing? Donate them to charity so someone looking for a job can wear them and make a great impression.

Dress for Success accepts professional-wear donations to help women thrive in their professional and personal lives. To date, this group has assisted over 925,000 women in 21 countries. Check the Dress for Success website to find a local affiliate for your donation.

A similar charity, Career Gear, is a New York-based nonprofit that provides interview clothing and job counseling. While Career Gear has a few locations around the U.S., it also accepts mail-in donations of men’s professional wear.

Donate Your Miles

Many nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, use donated airline miles for nationwide and international disaster relief and aid in impoverished places. Check your airline’s miles’ account to learn how to donate your miles. Donating miles isn’t tax-deductible.

Donate a Cell Phone to a Soldier


Instead of letting your old, working cellphone go unused, you can donate it to Cell Phones For Soldiers, a national nonprofit that provides cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. Since 2004, the organization has provided more than 220 million minutes of free talk time to military members and recycled more than 11.7 million phones.

Cell Phones For Soldiers also accepts donations of smart tablets. You can mail your gadgets or drop them off at one of the group's assigned locations.

Donate Proceeds From Stuff You Sell on eBay

It's possible to sell practically anything on eBay — including clothes, toys and books — and then donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity of your choice. Not only will this help you clean out your closets, eBay will keep track of your donations for tax purposes and give 100 percent of your donation to your chosen charity.

You assign how much of your sale you want donated; for instance, you can choose to donate 25 percent of the sale and keep the remaining 75 percent. Note that eBay, PayPal and shipping fees may apply, but eBay waives a portion of the fees based on the percentage you donate.


Ashley Eneriz is a staff writer at Wise Bread, a contributing writer at Investopedia and a freelance writer whose work has appeared on GoBankingRates, MoneyCrashers and elsewhere. Read More
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