Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

4 Ways to Boost Your Goodwill Donations

If you’ve donated to Goodwill before, you know the excellent reasons for doing so, including the people that benefit from your contributions. You help create opportunities for your fellow community members to build skills, train and find jobs.

While we at Ohio Valley Goodwill welcome donations in any condition, there are some ways to prepare your donations to ensure they create the most impact when they are resold in our retail stores. Here are some tips to keep in mind when donating to Goodwill:

White box with clothing inside and 'donations' written on front

Donations box

  1. Make it easy on yourself and check the ” Don’t” list first

You’ll discover Ohio Valley Goodwill accepts many more things than most consignment and resell shops. But, there are a few donated items we regret we can’t take and it’s best if you check out this list before you start loading up.

  1. Think like a reseller

Although you are donating, preparing your items as though you were going to sell them for ” top dollar” is a good way to ensure their value is maximized when they are resold in our retail stores.

The cleaner your items, the faster they will sell. Clothing should be freshly washed. Wood furniture can look like new with an oil or orange-based soap. Toys and other plastic items should be scrubbed inside and out.

Special trick: a multi-surface ” eraser” sponge can be your best friend to remove even those most stubborn marks!

Remove hangers and iron and fold clothes neatly. Think about offering clothing during the right season. For example, when winter is approaching, it’s the best time for coats, hats, scarves and mittens.

  1. Protect their value

Inspect gently-used items for flaws, tears and missing parts. For example, a 1,000-piece puzzle with one piece missing isn’t appealing. Secure boxes with rubber bands or tape to prevent losing pieces and parts.

Wrap fragile items appropriately. If you were packing your dishes, glassware, collectibles, or pottery for a move, you would take the time to package them carefully. Do the same with your Goodwill donations, wrapping them in bubble wrap and cushioning them in sturdy containers that you clearly mark “FRAGILE.”

Finally, fix what’s broken and check electronic items to ensure they are still working!

  1. Don’t wait too long

Sometimes people hang onto their stuff until they find themselves surrounded by things they haven’t used or worn in a very long time. Periodic decluttering ensures you are donating good stuff other people will buy and promotes a more stress-free environment for you.

People often look for current fashions and name brands even when they shop second hand. Don’t hesitate to donate brand-name clothing or even clothing that’s in ” new with tags” condition!

Goodwill's cycle of success logo

Goodwill’s Cycle of Success

Goodwill makes donating and recycling easy!

At Ohio Valley Goodwill, we appreciate all the wonderful donations we receive from the generous residents of the Greater Cincinnati area. As an environmental steward for more than a century, we want to remind our generous donors that we welcome items that are also not in the best condition. Annually, Ohio Valley Goodwill helps to recycle and divert more than 55,000,000 lbs. of donated items from area landfills. So, while saleable donations are always wonderful, we also welcome those items that might otherwise be thrown away.


Ready to make a Goodwill donation? Ohio Valley Goodwill makes recycling quick and easy! You’ll declutter and have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped people with disabilities in your community”“now that’s a good thing! Find your nearest Donation Center today!