Donations come in many forms. Charitable organizations can always benefit from financial donations. But cold, hard cash isn’t the only way to help a favourite charity. Non-cash donations can include everything from clothing to electronics, to art and collectibles and much more. Such donations are very common. Many people have items they want to donate to a good cause. Donors might want to do a little legwork before making non-cash donations to ensure their generosity does as much good as possible. • Determine the usefulness of non-cash items. Most charities can only make use of new, unused or nearly new items. Work with the charity you hope to donate to, so you only drop off items the charity can ultimately use. • Don’t give up on items deemed not useful. Just because a charity cannot accept a certain item does not mean the charity cannot ultimately benefit from that item. Items that have too much wear and tear for charities can still be sold, and donors can turn the proceeds from those sales into financial donations to their favourite charities. Items can be sold at garage sales, at flea markets, online through websites like Ebay, or even via the local newspaper classifieds section. • Donate locally. Some organizations offer to pick up large non-cash donations, such as furniture. By choosing to donate such items to local charities, donors can save the organizations the potentially costly expense of extensive travel. That means donations go that much further. • Accept your tax deduction. There’s no shame in accepting some goodwill in return for your charitable efforts. When donating non-cash items, ask for a receipt and any additional forms necessary to claim a tax deduction. Non-cash donations can be as valuable to charitable organizations as cash donations, especially when donors take the time to ensure they donate only those items organizations can use.