How to Donate a TV to Charity

Updated February 21, 2017

Older TVs, even those which work just fine, often have a very poor resale value. If you've replaced your old tube screen with a flat screen TV, you may end up giving it away or having it take up space in the garage, rather than making any money from it.. Donating your old TV to charity is a very attractive alternative. Not only does it give you a write-off on your taxes, but it can make a real difference to the organisation that receives it.

Turn your TV on, adjust the volume and cycle through the channels to make sure it still works. If it has any lingering issues--like a missing remote control or antenna--be sure to make a note of them. Most charities prefer the set to be in good working order before they take possession of it. If it needs extensive repairs, they may refuse it.

Contact a local charity to see if it is interested in accepting a TV. Your neighbourhood church is a good place to start--churches qualify as charitable organisations and can likely find a needy family in the area who could use it. Homeless shelters and battered women's shelters make good candidates for donations as well. So do state schools, which are often strapped for cash and can use TVs in their classrooms. Online groups like FreeCycle and Earth 911 provide lists of appropriate charities in your area that will take an old TV. (See Resources.)

Call your selected charity and set up a time and a place to hand over the TV. Large charitable organisations that have access to a truck or van should be able to come to your house to take the TV. If you have a way of moving it on your own, however, they would likely be grateful if you drove it to them.

Have the charity write out a receipt, stipulating that it has accepted the old TV and listing the brand and dimensions of the set itself. A receipt is required if you intend to claim the transaction as a charitable donation on your taxes.


A number of charities will welcome a donation of an old TV, but not all of them are recognised by the IRS. If you want to claim the donation on your tax returns, consult Publication 78 and make sure your charity is on the list.

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