Whenever you hear that donating is free, environment-friendly, and tax-deductible, you are possibly a shot away from hitting the rim of your board games giveaway.
There’s no reason not to feel right about that. You just need the right information about where those board games can go and call a new home.
Why Should You Donate Your Board Games?
There are different motivations for choosing to donate your items. You could be doing your season cleaning or decluttering your home, or attempting to show goodwill. Whatever your motivation, you can get your board games assembled, cleaned and complete, and donate to places where your donation will be appreciated and needed.
If you have household board games like Scrabble, Monopoly, and Jenga, your donation will appeal to a wide range of age group, right from pre-teens to retirees.
In some other preferred cases, your donation could imply that possible contributions to board game cafe could expand their existing collection of games. It is not a loss even if they have your board game in stock. They use your copy as a perfect replacement for theirs.
It’s also an impressive thing to take a moment to spread love even if that’s not your remote reason for donation. We don’t want to sounding preachy, but donating your items reflect what our shared community should be like and how making a difference starts with the little selfless gestures.
Where Can You Donate Your Board Games To?
So, are you cleaning up or attempting to do good and wondering where to donate your board games? Here are quite a few places to consider:
- Resell Charities
- Orphanages and Homes
- Schools and Colleges
- Children’s hospitals
- Churches and Youth clubs
- Local libraries or game stores
- Toys for Tot
1. Resell Charities
If you are not finicky about your board game going straight to a place for use, the simplest way to donate or offload your board games will be to take them to your local charity store.
These charity stores sell items brought to them and use the money raised to assist other charity’s works and interventions. They are often referred to as resell charities.
Resell charities like thrift stores (good examples are The Salvation Army and Goodwill) accept wide range of toys which they put out for sale. They then use the proceeds from their sales to support important programs that they do which have tremendous impact and benefits to the needy within individual’s community.
However, it is important that you call your local store prior to donating if they are accepting donations. For instance, there was a time Salvation Army held off accepting board game donation.
Donations can be on hold for several reasons. If, for example, there is already a surplus of toys in a store, donations may be declined.
If that’s not the case for your donation, getting accepted means families could eventually have access to low-cost toys in those stores, and at the same time, help to keep funds that can help projects directly in your own community.
Below is a list of charities you can easily access to find out if they are open to taking board game donations:
- Salvation Army Donation Pick Up
- Goodwill Donation Pick Up
- Arc Donation Pick Up
- Vietnam Veterans Donation Pick Up
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Donation Pick Up
- Humane Society Donation Pick Up
- Habitat for Humanity Donation Pick Up
- Hospice Donation Pick Up
You can find more options and directions for local stores close to you on donation town. The site is so designed to help facilitate pickups for free donation for charities that are close to you.
So, on the website, you can schedule a pickup and then make delivery to your chosen charity just by inputting your ZIP code.
You realize quite quickly that not all the charities are reselling outlets as there are other deserving type of charity who would find donated board games or toys generally very useful.
There are charities like Both Loving Hugs and Stuffed Animals for Emergencies that offer children a familiar object in times of emergency, natural disaster or crisis situations. Your board games to charities like this can directly get to children who might need them more pressingly than you.
You could also consider the Toys for Tots associated mostly with a call for new, unwrapped toys. However, the Marine-facilitated charity also takes gently used toys that are in great shape.
If you have a board game in good shape that you want to give, just click on the Toys for Tots website. You can easily enter your state there. There is a plan that helps you schedule a pickup without hassle or find a drop-off location.
2. Orphanages & Homes
Another place your board games can be useful is orphanages and homes. If you know of a local shelter or children’s home in your area, they are most likely open to accepting donations of all kinds, including your old board games.
Games have proven to be a good way to socialize children in homes while developing and forming relationships with other children under care.
It is also not just about the children staying in these homes, but also kids who might visit. Having board games in these places is an easy attraction and perfect invitation for visiting kids to spend time and play with the ones in the home.
Places like homes for homeless and street children, autism therapy centers, homeless shelters that spring up in times of (housing) crisis, are also great places for board game donations.
Not having a place to stay can be frustrating, lonely, and isolating. For many people in such kind of space, board games can help them connect beyond their shared challenge and spend valuable time of interactions with each other.
Board games are not individual sports. They forge bonds even in the spirit of competition and with clear rules in board games.
In other expression of homes, specifically family shelters, parents who are in sheltered accommodation will perhaps spend more time with the children over your donated board games than anything else. These are viable options for where board games can be donated.
You can equally use the Homeless Shelter Directory to locate shelters in your area so you can easily walk up there to make your donation.
There are also retirement homes which are like communal areas where residents can meet to spend time together, chat and play games. Board games are an impeccable donation item for places with these facilities.
3. Schools & Colleges
Many times, schools are so invested in education by the books that they rarely explore the ones by the game boards.
For other schools who prioritize sports, they are more biased towards tracks and field sports and athletic ones played on the field or on a court.
However, that is an assumption that everyone wants that or that variety in sporting games is a waste of value. Some are very open to it but are often quoted as being restrained due to budget expectations. This is where you could come in.
You can make inquiry about board games they would be open to having and you can support by donating to them.
Giving your local school a call and finding out if they needed a board game club or not won’t be hard task, right? You might be shocked, but it could turn out — as often as it does, though — that there will be instructors and tutors who are willing to play new games and discover new excitements.
Your board can be the game changer. There are really some schools who run board game clubs; your donation can be a great addition to their clubs and school.
Also, your local university or college could have a thriving student-run society that has opportunities for students to meet regularly to play board games.
Not many students create options for cash to buy board games, but they would never discountenance one as a donation from you. You could also consider children in their preschools and nurseries in your local community.
The YMCA, for example, is largely famous for providing sheltered accommodation, but you could support the role they play in helping schools.
YMCA is the Young Men’s Christian Association which aims to put Christian principles in humanitarian services even as they target wholeness of the total man.
So, they generally focus on delivering projects and services that target youth development through several people-oriented activities. However, over the years, they have become known for sheltering, which is but an intervention of their work.
They are also active in school engagements, providing before and after school clubs, school activities, holiday clubs and camps, respite for young carers, and many more. It is not impossible that they would find your board game useful in one of their school campaigns.
4. Children’s Hospitals & Clinics
This comes with an important caveat. Not all hospitals are open to the idea of donations. Some hospitals value and uphold quite a strict hygiene standard and may take exceptions to donations of used board games.
But for many who could possibly denounce it, there are many others who would love to embrace it. So, find out children’s hospitals who would be open to this and donate.
They could also use the games in waiting rooms or in other areas where hygiene risks are not that pronounced.
5. Churches & Youth Clubs
Churches run many community impact programs that affect individuals and families tremendously. You find a host of community events like youth clubs, lunch clubs, fundraising days, etc.
Family board games are often a part of fun plans for the events and your donation will be greatly useful there.
Also, pretty much every church is a tax-exempt organization since they are often registered as non-governmental organizations. By donating to them or their nurseries, you are not only assisting a community, but you can also claim a deduction.
Churches, and by extension, religious organizations in the US, offer daycares or nurseries to their parishioners. That service many times comes at a very low-cost or even for free. That greatly affects what they can buy or use in the schools. You can support them by donating in the church.
Aside the youth clubs organized by churches, there are also several youth clubs organized under several bodies whose chief aim is to keep teenagers entertained.
Many of such events are held in a local community center. Donation of your board games can go to organizers of these events and can be used during their programs.
Perhaps it can be added that there are scouts or girl guides within the usual age of youth clubs target beneficiaries who also plan famed camping trips and outdoor adventures. These events are mostly complemented with games and campfires. Your board game could spice up such meetings.
6. Local Libraries Or Game Stores
There are local libraries that regularly host board games evenings. There is a game-librarian who teaches people how to play and think through different board games. That could be your closest point of donation while creating a community of game lovers with you there.
There are friendly game stores that can benefit from your returned kindness if you are decluttering your home and doing away with certain board games.
You don’t have to give much thought or think deeply about this. There are many people who frown on the need to support “capitalist empires”. Don’t forget, you are repaying friendly owners with your own kindness. This might be a useful option to many who trade in the currency of beneficial relationships.
Things To Keep in Mind While Donating Your Board Games
While it is something to encourage, donating your board games should also come with certain considerations so that you don’t go through a process that is more vilifying than rewarding. The following tips might be a useful check:
- Target the right audience and age group and target audience for the board game you want to donate. It is best to give what you are sure will be appreciated. You also don’t have to pick offences in places your gifts aren’t wanted. Never see it as something personal.
- Ensure your board game is in good shape. Check to see if all the pieces are still there. Assess it, clean it, and be sure it is complete and nothing is broken. The chances that wherever you are taking your board game to will be able to replace missing features are very low. Don’t let your goodwill be half-done. Never give broken or damaged board games.
- Always call in to find out if the places you wish to donate welcome such offer. There are places (like hospitals as mentioned above) who have strict hygiene guidelines and may not welcome that.
- If your motivation for giving is because you want or need a tax deduction and there is no church or organization suitable to help rid of item quickly, you can look online. You can use sites such as Freecycle to give away quickly. That comes with a caveat. You must be security conscious and be wary of posting personal details. Only agree to meet with people in very public places to hand over donations, never give out your private address. There are also charity garage sales and online swap meets use online sites such as Facebook and Craigslist to collect donations and sell them. You can support a good cause that way and still get your items tossed away quickly as you want.
- Try not to leave your donation unattended to, and don’t wrap it. It is safe and acceptable to keep your donations entirely visible. First, charities or organizations that accept donations have designated drop-off points or pickup place. Don’t drop your board game anywhere and ask them to pick up, it is not a sign of good faith.
Irrespective of your motivation, donating your board games can prove in the long run to be an important decision for you and those who might be interested in having it.
If your board game is not in the best of conditions to be donated, there are other things you could do with them. Check this article for 15 great tips on what to do with old board games.