March 9th, 2011

Putting a Value on the “Stuff” You’ve Donated

If you itemized the non-monetary donations you made in 2010, you may be wondering how to assign a value to each item. According to the IRS, the “value” should reflect the fair market value of the item. So how do you determine “fair market” value?

There are several resources that can help:

The Salvation Army has put together a valuation guide that is located on their website at Just click onto the Valuation Guide area. They give a range of values specified for each type of item. New items in perfect condition can be valued at or near the high end of the range, while older items showing signs of wear and tear would be valued lower.

You can also purchase a book called “Money for Your Used Clothing” at . The book provides a place for you to record your donations for the year and includes a valuation guide as well.

For Specific IRS requirements for charitable donations, go to and put “Publication 1771” in the search bar at the top right hand corner of the page.

Remember, making non-monetary donations is a great way to receive tax benefits – but only if you have a system in place to track and value those donations.

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