Are you wondering if you can find a nonprofit organization that takes charitable donations of house building materials? Whether you have leftover materials from new construction or if you have usable items you no longer need following a renovation project, it's certainly better to get them in the hands of someone who can put them to good use rather than throwing them away.
Better Futures Minnesota
Better Futures Minnesota is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Minneapolis. Its mission is to help men who have faced addiction or incarceration find work, build skills and improve their lives. In addition to maintaining the ReUse Warehouse, which resells donated materials at low cost (and can be browsed online) Better Futures Minnesota provides high quality, low cost contractor services to customers in the area, giving its clients access to steady employment.
How to Donate
Better Futures Minnesota accepts donations both for resale through the ReUse Warehouse and for their construction projects. It accepts donations including but not limited to:
- Building supplies, including lumber and tile.
The organization does not accept hollow core doors, single pane windows or donations with asbestos, creosote, dry rot, mold or pest infestations. Beyond those limitations, the organization accepts a wide variety of supplies and offers pickup services in the area at low or no charge. Better Futures Minnesota also offers appliance recycling and deconstruction services and is available for general contractor work throughout the state.
Community Forklift is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in the Washington, D.C. area. The organization resells used and salvaged materials at low cost, provides public education about reuse and recycling, and provides materials to charities and people in need at no charge.
How to Donate
Community Forklift accepts various home goods and construction supplies, including but not limited to:
- Building supplies such as drywall, insulation, lumber, masonry, paint and stain
- Electrical and lighting supplies such as ceiling fans and light fixtures
- Flooring supplies such as carpets, rugs, tile and wood flooring
- HVAC equipment
- Outdoor supplies such as fencing, flower pots and pavers
- Plumbing supplies such as sinks and toilets
Community Forklift does not accept cloth items, fluorescent lights, window screens or small appliances like blenders and coffee makers. Donations may be dropped off at their warehouse from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. The organization also provides a free pickup service for large donations, and a deconstruction service. For projects not in need of full deconstruction, Community Forklift also offers a partial deconstruction service at no cost to the client. Guidelines are available through the website, and donations can be scheduled online or by phone. You can also contribute to Community Forklift through their online store.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a well-known charitable organization committed to helping provide affordable, decent shelter for those in need throughout the world. The organization helps low-income families in need of acceptable living arrangements, as well as providing disaster response services to help make shelter available to those struggling to put their lives back together after experiencing homelessness as a result of natural disasters, war, and other causes.
How to Donate
Habitat for Humanity accepts donations through its ReStore outlets. ReStore is a nationwide chain of thrift stores that raise money for the Habitat for Humanity mission and provide people in need with low-cost access to building supplies. ReStore outlets accept donations of:
- Building supplies
- Home accessories
- Household goods
Specific needs and limitations vary from store to store, and many outlets may accept donations outside the listed categories. Visit the ReStores page on the Habitat website to find a store in your area and match your donation to their needs. Many ReStore outlets also offer free pickup of large items.
Based in Portland, Oregon, the Rebuilding Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that resells donated construction material at low cost. All profits are used to fund charitable causes, including community volunteer projects, education and low or no-cost construction.
How to Donate
The Rebuilding Center accepts a wide variety of donated goods. These include but are not limited to:
- Building supplies such as insulation, lumber, siding and trim
- Flooring supplies such as carpet, tiles and wood and synthetic flooring
- Outdoor supplies such as fencing
- Plumbing supplies such as sinks, toilets and tubs
The Rebuilding Center works hard to make the donation process as convenient as possible. It offers free pickup for donations, available through its website. In addition, the Center provides a deconstruction service that dismantles structures and salvages items at low cost.
The Refuge Austin
The Refuge Austin is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based, quite reasonably, in Austin, Texas. The organization is currently constructing the Refuge Ranch, a safe, therapeutic environment for teenage girls who have been victimized in child trafficking. The Refuge accepts donations of building materials and household goods to build private housing and other resources for its clients.
How to Donate
The Refuge accepts donations based on its clients' needs. It accepts donations including, but not limited to:
- Building materials such as insulation, siding and wood framing
- Doors and door hardware
- Electrical and lighting supplies such as electrical conduits and light fixtures
- Roofing materials, including asphalt shingles and metal roofing
- Plumbing supplies such as pipes, a service sink and a rainwater collection tank
The Refuge's material needs evolve with the progress of construction and the changing needs of its clients. Anyone with materials to donate is encouraged to get in touch through their website. Monetary donations are also welcome.
Stardust Building Supplies
Stardust Building Supplies is an Arizona-based 501(c)3 nonprofit that accepts charitable donations of house building materials. The organization operates stores in Phoenix and Mesa, where donations are sold for affordable prices. Money raised provides important services in the communities where the organization operates.
How to Donate
Stardust accepts donations from individuals and contractors. They accept a wide variety of construction supplies, including but not limited to:
- Building supplies such as insulation, lumber, paint, Sheetrock, siding and stone
- Electrical and lighting supplies such as breaker boxes, light fixtures, outlets, packaged bulbs, shades, switches and wire
- Flooring supplies such as unused carpet and carpet squares, tiles and wood flooring.
- Hardware such as door pulls and knobs, hinges, nails, nuts and bolts, screws and tools
- Interior and exterior doors
- Outdoor supplies including décor, fencing, garage doors, gates and pool equipment
- Plumbing supplies such as AC units, faucets, pumps, PVC pipe, sinks, toilets, tubs and water heaters
- Roofing supplies such as ceiling tiles and shingles.
- Windows, blinds, screens and shutters
Stardust accepts donations at three locations in the Phoenix/Mesa area seven days a week, and offers free pickup services for donations worth more than $100. Both are available through its website. The organization also provides free deconstruction services for contractors in Maricopa County. Upon request, the organization will send a team of skilled workers to dismantle what needs to be taken apart and remove old fixtures and building materials. Salvageable items will be offered for sale in one of the stores.
If deconstruction, resale or other material-intensive services aren't available in your area, there may be another organization that would be happy to accept your gift. A few options to consider include:
- Public housing: Consider contacting the Public Housing Agency (PHA) in your community to inquire about making a donation. You can find contact information on the PHA contacts page on the website for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Even if the agency does not take donations, there's a good chance that a representative will be able to guide you to a nonprofit organization that will be happy to accept the items that you want to give away.
- Thrift shops: Nonprofits that operate general thrift stores, such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army, may accept donated building materials.
Consider Donating Building Materials
There are many benefits to donating building materials to nonprofit organizations in need. It's a great way to support essential services in your community even if you are not in a position to contribute cash. Donations to 501(c)3 organizations are also tax deductible for the fair market value of the items that you donate.
In addition, donating building supplies is socially and environmentally responsible. Instead of wasting perfectly good materials, donation puts them to work. Recycling combined with charitable giving is a way to incorporate green living practices into your life and help other people in need.