Donating through eBay
March 16, 2011 10:39 PM   Subscribe

What are some good charities to give to through eBay?

I've decided I'd like to give to charities more often, and taking a deduction for them from the items I sell on eBay seems to be a quick and easy way to do it. It's just a little tough to figure out what organizations I'd like to donate to that are actually registered to receive the donations through eBay. The eBay donations work through MissionFish apparently. Is there any reason I should worry about donating through them in the first place?

I like UNICEF and Direct Relief International, so I've donated to them on eBay. But I'm looking for more organizations that use funds efficiently, such as by getting good marks from the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. I'd also like them to be national or international organizations, rather than local to any particular city. I'm interested generally in organizations that don't have any particular religious affiliation, and which deal with areas such as disaster relief or providing education or medical help to those in poverty. But I'd be willing to consider any charities that have a stellar reputation, no matter what cause they're working to help.
posted by Ryogen to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
Boys and Girls Club.
You can't go wrong...and there are even some specific clubs you can donate too.

To check out how they spend money, check here.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:44 PM on March 16, 2011

AmeriCares. 99%+ of their funding goes to programming, only .3% goes to fundraising and .4% goes to administration. Very well-regarded organization.

Also, Heifer! They're great. They provide livestock to needy families all over the world.
posted by arnicae at 12:04 AM on March 17, 2011

Please consider giving directly to charity (especially if you care about efficient use of funds) as eBay will scrape off some non-insignificant percentage of every donation you make.
posted by turkeyphant at 5:22 AM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You should be aware than when you donate to charities through eBay/MissionFish, that you are donating exclusively to MissionFish, which is a Donor Advised Fund. This means two things for you, as a donor:

1) MissionFish keeps 10-20% of your donation if you're doing the Community Seller thing, and 3.75% of your donation if you're using Donate Now. (This is in their policies.)
2) You're donating to them, not your nonprofit of choice, and while they are generally committed to disburse your donation to the nonprofit you choose, they are not obligated.

This also means some things for the nonprofit you'd like to give to:

1) You are not their donor. MissionFish is their donor. They can't contact you to thank you, necessarily, and they can't include you personally on their donor rolls. (This frustrates a lot of nonprofits who would like to build relationships with donors.)
2) They are getting less than they would if you'd just cut them a check.

If you're interested in general charity wellness and determining how best to disburse your charitable dollar, I highly recommend Charity Navigator.
posted by juniperesque at 8:19 AM on March 17, 2011

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