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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/1-are-you-really-doing-it-to-benefit-the-30803430.aspx

Subject:  Re: Charitable deduction question Date:  7/31/2013  10:21 AM
Author:  2gifts Number:  118942 of 121585

1. Are you really doing it to benefit the charity, or because it's a convenient way to get rid of stuff that doesn't go in the trash or recycling easily?

2. How do your cash contributions compare to the noncash(junk)?

It's those two factors that determine your charitable sincerity.


I find this discussion of charitable sincerity to be kind of silly. What difference does it really make to the charity if the person's top motivation is not that it helps the charity? In the first case, it looks like a win for both the charity and the donor regardless of why the donor chose to give to that particular charity. About 2 years ago, I got to clean out FIL's house which had the entire contents of 3 estates. My choices were to rent a dumpster to throw everything out, donate it all to Goodwill and let them sort it, or sort it to throw what was really useless, but donate the rest to Goodwill. I chose the 3rd option, and don't find that to be a problem because Goodwill got a ton of stuff they could resell and convert to cash to support their work, someone else got something that still had life in it for a good price, and I was able to get rid of all that stuff without just throwing it in the trash, which seemed wasteful.

As far as your 2nd point in terms of if someone donates more cash than noncash, which I note you seem to classify as always junk, in my case above, that was a year where there was much more noncash donated because of the volume of stuff and not because I didn't also contribute cash to my usual charities. But I know lots of folks who don't have a lot of money and so donate their time as well as things they might no longer be using because that's the only way they can give at all.
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