Local charitable organisations often look for donations to help those who are in need. The predicament of donating money or goods is one that we almost all deal with at one time or another if we support these organisations. However, there are reasons why money donations make more sense than the donations of goods. Here are some of those reasons:
Shipping costs are high – if you donate goods to a charitable organisation that is collecting for disaster relief they need to find a method of getting those goods to the people who need them the most. For many organisations, this often means that they need to be shipped. Goods are expensive to ship and they sometimes do not arrive in the area they are intended to reach.
Types of supplies – all too often when a disaster strikes, there are communications issues which accompany those disasters. This can often result in receiving goods that are not needed in the area. One example would be that if an area is recovering from a natural disaster and does not have sufficient housing, it does not make sense to ship them clothing. While the clothing is important, having funds to help rebuild housing is more critical.
Flexibility – a typical charitable organisation may get a variety of requests for assistance. While it may be helpful for them to be able to provide food, clothing or furniture, not all requests fall into these categories. Having cash on hand allows the organisation the flexibility to assist more people.
Storage issues – many charitable organisations do not have primary offices or they are small, local groups who help those who need help. Because of this, they often have limited or no space to store donations. Monetary donations fit very nicely into bank accounts and do not take up a lot of room. They also can help more people in need.
The downsides of goods
There are some challenges that are inherent to accepting donations of goods besides the ones mentioned above. Here are a few examples:
Clothing – while it may be critical to provide clothing during crisis, if the person in need requires a size eighteen garment and all that is available are size ten garments, they are not going to be of much help. In addition, undergarments are not recommended for donations and they are a must for most people.
Furniture – a home that is devastated by fire may mean that a family is in need of furnishings. However, beds cannot be donated with mattresses (in many areas) and this could mean that the family has bed frames but no mattresses. The end result is that funds are still needed to provide the mattress and bedding.
While it may be tempting to donate goods to local organisations, it may be more beneficial to them to donate money. This often allows them extra flexibility to help more people.