How to Donate a Used Piano

Written by lauren vork
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How to Donate a Used Piano
(Wikimedia Commons)

If you have an older piano, chances are you may want to get it off your hands. You may wish to exchange it for a newer one, or perhaps you've inherited an instrument you don't have any use for. Fortunately, good pianos are always in high demand, even when they're old, so finding a welcoming home for a donated instrument is easy. However, it's good to take a few steps to ensure that you're giving away a quality piano, and to make sure that both you and the party you're donating to gets the best value out of your donation.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Assess the condition of your piano. While a donation of a good quality piano in good condition will be a boon to whoever's receiving it, if your old piano is worthless, you'll be placing an annoying burden on someone. Test each key for basic playing functionality, listening only for tone quality (poor intonation is not a sign of a bad piano, unless the piano has been recently tuned). Test the piano's pedals as well, and make sure the instrument is structurally sound.

  2. 2

    Consider getting a tax deduction for your donation. Check with the IRS, which has an information sheet concerning the donating of nonmonetary items. Keep in mind that to qualify, your piano will have to be donated to a non-profit organisation. For an accurate tax donation, you will want to have your piano professionally assessed for resale value, which is particularly important in the case of an old piano that might have value as an antique.

  3. 3

    Decide whether you can move the piano or help move it. Pianos often require professionals to be moved, and this is doubly true of old pianos, which tend to be heavier, more fragile and less likely to be equipped with wheels. You may wish to tell whomever you donate to that they will be responsible for moving the instrument to its new home.

  4. 4

    Call local non-profit organisations and ask if they need a piano. Good places to try include churches, schools, universities, theatres and senior centres. Many of these organisations will already have pianos but will still be glad to have additional pianos for practice spaces and recreation rooms.

  5. 5

    Check the "wanted" section of your local Craigslist to see whether anyone is looking for a piano. If not, you can place your own free ad in the "free" section.

  6. 6

    Donate your piano through a donation website, such as Piano Finders. This organisation puts piano donors in touch with individuals and organisations who are seeking pianos.

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