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What are the 6 Most Popular Items Donated to Charity?

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

As this year draws to a close, many of us are taking the time to express appreciation for what we have and evaluate what we really need. As we focus on living an more intentional lifestyle, we may decide to par down. With this in mind, many people take this time of the year to look for ways to give back to others. This blog post will focus on the data and trends that result; my goal is to provoke a more mindful donating & discarding process.

This time of the year is often referred to as "the season of giving." And the facts don't lie, according to charitable giving by month insights, nearly 40% of all annual donations across America come during the last three months of the year. While this includes monetary donations, there are still a considerable amount of people in the U.S. who donated items. Wouldn't you agree that when the giver keeps the recipient in mind, the gift is well received?

But which items are the most popular? And what items are most useful?

Clothing & Accessories

Clothes are the most commonly donated item. Many donation centers accept a wide range of clothing items in all sizes. Most charities also receive shoes, bags, and other accessories. To be useful, clothing donations should be in very good condition and clean. if you want to increase the chance of the donation being useful, consider donating in season.


Another big donation category is kitchenware. This can range from dinnerware, to cooking utensils, as well as pots and pans. Donate in sets if possible, the exceptions

are brands that have a loyal brand following, such as fiesta ware. In that case, shoppers may need replacements or be looking to build a collection . Discard any dishes that are cracked, chipped, or stained.

Toys & Games

While there are donation centers specifically devoted to children, many of them happily accept these items. There is not a specific type of toy that is donated more often than another, but some options include stuffed animals, action figures, dolls, and puzzles. Most donation center have stop accepting stuffed animals. The same rules apply to toys, clean functional donation will sell faster. tape and instructions or remotes to electronic toys


Blankets are a common donation choice and are commonly requested because they are essential. They can be especially helpful when those in need are faced with the cold winter months. Our recommendation is to consider the charity specific to your donation. For example, blankets have a 100% chance of being used at a local animal shelter. If they are new, a local homeless shelter would have a greater need than Goodwill.


Book are such a commonly donated item that many places no longer accept them. This is because there is an influx of donations but not many people wanting to take or buy them. An alternative is to take old books to a book recycler or Half Prices book to recoup a little cash.

Hygiene Essentials

Finally, hygiene essentials find themselves somewhere in the middle. Many centers ask for sealed and intact toiletries. This could range from soaps to first aid kits. Feminine-hygiene and child-care products are always in demand. Be sure that these items are not expired and prioritize direct donations.

Donating can be a very rewarding experience when we are mindful. If we truly consider the recipient of our donations and want to make sure that our items will be useful it's imperative that we donate while items still have "life". With just a little consideration and a giving spirit, you can help someone in need.


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