Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Here's Telling Them!

Does your nonprofit organization take in-kind donations (used clothing, furniture, or other goods)? Do you ever get tired of people trying to dump their old, useless garbage at your door and expecting you to thank them (as well as give them a receipt for their tax deduction)?

I've worked with a few agencies that accept "gently used" items and have had that frustration. You always have to choose between insulting a donor by refusing their trash, or wasting your own scarce resources to get rid of the garbage on your own. Not a good place to be in.

Well, I don't have a solution to offer you today, other than clearly written policies that staff can point to while apologizing for sending the donor away, but I do have a new champion for our plight.

Marsha Wiseman of Muskogee, Oklahoma, has written a letter to the editor of the Muskogee Phoenix: Don’t leave trash in the donation bin! Print out Marsha's words and post them in your office. Yes, somebody understands. It's not much, but it's something.

1 comment:

  1. According to the draft revised IRS Form 990, these poor overworked NPOs will have to do a lot of paperwork to track the value of all that donated stuff, trash included. I think this is a huge burden to NPOs and need to offer my comments to the IRS.

    Thanks for the blog. I just found you and you to my blogline feed.