If you're looking to donate furniture to charity then you're in luck. Plenty of charities are willing to accept used furniture as donations and will either use the furniture, give it away to the needy, or resell it and put the profits toward their causes.
Charities Accepting Furniture as Donations
Furniture Banks in the US and Canada are independently operating partners of the Furniture Bank Association North America, and each of these independent groups accept donations of usable furniture and distributes it to those in need. While FBA does maintain a map of US donation sites on their website, they do not accept furniture donations directly. As independent operations, each Furniture Bank establishes its own set of guidelines for acceptable donations so donors need to contact their local area Furniture Bank to see if their furniture items can be accepted.
Goodwill Donation Centers
Goodwill Donation Centers accept new or gently used items like furniture. The donated furniture is sold at Goodwill store locations, and the profits from those sales are put back into the community through employment services, job training, and other career services. Goodwill guarantees at least 82 percent of all revenues are used to fund employment and training programs, which means you can be assured that your gently-used furniture is going towards a good purpose.
My Brother's Keeper
My Brother's Keeper is a Christian organization located in Easton, Massachusetts. Volunteers pick-up donations of high-quality furniture (including mattresses), and redistribute them to needy members of the community. At this time, they are not accepting any drop-offs, so items must be scheduled for pickup service. They will remove furniture from residences and businesses. They request that all donations be in very good, serviceable condition. The mission of this organization is "to lift people up, help them feel special, and let them know they are loved." They are ready to serve as the "middleman" to make sure your used furniture gets put to its greatest use. Check the map on their website for detailed information about their 35-town service area.
The Salvation Army operates stores that accept donations of household goods, such as furniture. They provide a free pick-up of high quality furniture by calling 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825). Alternatively, you can drop off your furniture at a local drop off center or schedule your pickup online. Purchases made at the stores help fund The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers.
St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul has thrift stores across the United States. These shops depend on donations of gently used items such as furniture, and donated items must be in useable condition. Donations can be made directly to the thrift stores. Furniture can also be picked up at no cost to the donor. To schedule a pickup, call 1-800-675-2882 (weekdays between 8:30 and 3:30 pm), or use their online scheduling service, which is arranged through Donation Town.
Vietnam Veterans of America
Vietnam Veterans of America accepts donations of household goods such as pieces of small usable furniture in 30 of the 50 American states through their service organization, ClothingDonation.org. To schedule a free pickup, call 1-888-518-VETS (8387). To find out if your state is in their service area, use their interactive map tool. They request that donors place the clearly marked donations outside of their residence, and make sure that the items can be seen by the truck drivers.
Other Donation Venues for Furniture
By looking through the yellow pages, you may be able to identify charities in your area that could use your unwanted furniture. In addition, your local church or religious organization may know of a needy family that would be glad to receive these essential household items. Some other organizations to consider donating your furniture to are:
- Help those who are without homes by donating your furniture to local homeless shelters or women's shelters.
- Senior citizen centers, as well as elderly residents on fixed-incomes, may be in need of furniture.
- Schools and community theaters accept furniture donations to use as props for their performances.
- Neighborhood thrift stores may accept this type of donation if the items are in good condition.
In all cases, be sure to call first to make sure there is a need for your unwanted pieces. Chances are, if you have serviceable furniture to give away, you will find an organization willing to take it.
Only Donate Serviceable Items
This isn't an easy way to dispose of furniture that should be hauled off to a dump. Only serviceable furniture, that can be used directly or sold to make a profit, should wind up as a charitable donation.
Before contacting a charity to request they pick up a piece of furniture, ask yourself the question, "Would anyone actually want to buy this?" It's one thing if the cushions have a few stains or if there is a small knick on a piece of wood. It's another thing entirely if the furniture is in such disrepair that it is unlikely to be of any use to anyone.
Some charities with drop-off areas consider it dumping if someone drops off a piece of furniture that isn't usable. Since many of these drop-off points have surveillance cameras that record license plate numbers, these individuals could receive a hefty fine for dumping their unserviceable furniture at these sites.
Furnishing It Forward
The next time you plan to update the look of your home, take a long look at the list of charities that accept furniture donations. Choose the organization that best meets your passion whether it's kids, pets, conservation or the homeless. Donating your unwanted furniture helps you pay a kind deed forward socially, fiscally and environmentally.