Help with the donateNYC Exchange

How does the donateNYC Exchange work?

The donateNYC Exchange is an online tool for businesses and nonprofits to list or request used or surplus materials. Anyone can browse the Exchange, but businesses and organizations must register before requesting materials or listing items to be donated.

The Exchange is not a marketplace; items on the Exchange are not for sale. Donors can request that a recipient only be a nonprofit or charitable organization, and therefore request a tax receipt for their donated items. Recipients of items are responsible for any and all requirements a donor many have. Recipients are also responsible for any transportation and labor, unless the donor has offered to deliver materials.

Why do I need to register to use the Exchange?

Exchange users must register for several reasons:

  • Quality assurance: Registration ensures that Exchange users are legitimate businesses and nonprofits.
  • Communication consistency: Personal information such as phone numbers and addresses are needed for tracking purposes. Your information will only be visible to donateNYC staff and the donor/recipent you choose to share it with. (donateNYC takes your privacy seriously. We will not display personal information and will not share any information unless we have explicit permission to do so. Please read the donateNYC privacy policy and User Agreement for more information.)
  • User convenience: Your current exchanges status and history of past exchanges will be available in your Exchange account area. This can be used for accounting purposes, if needed.

Can businesses and nonprofits outside of New York City use the Exchange?

Only businesses and nonprofits located in the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and nearby areas of New Jersey can use the Exchange. In addition, one participant (either donor OR recipient) of a goods exchange using this service must be based within the five boroughs of New York City. Exceptions to this policy will be made in the event of a declared state of emergency, in which case donors from outside the New York City may be allowed to post available goods.

I'm an NYC resident; can I use the Exchange?

No. Due to volume issues the Exchange is only for businesses and nonprofits seeking to exchange larger quantities of items. Residents are encouraged to use donateNYC to easily find nearby places to donate or find used goods, or to use online material exchanges such as Craigslist.

Where can I get help logging in to my account?

Click on "Forgot Password" located on the Exchange user login page. An email containing your password will be sent to you.

When can I expect my listed materials to be accepted for donation?

donateNYC cannot guarantee that donation offers on the Exchange will be accepted. There are several factors that affect whether donation offers succeed:

  • The condition, quality, and demand of the materials—for example, newer electronics are donated faster than older desktop computers.
  • The quantity being offered-typically large quantity donations move faster than single items because it's more cost effective for an organization to receive multiple materials in one pickup.
  • Whether you supply photos with your item description. Donations with photos usually move more quickly than those without photos.
  • The timeframe of the goods exchange (most exchanges require at least 10 days for planning and logistics; last-minute donation offers often fail, since the recipient organization may need to rent a truck or hire labor).
  • The requirement for a Certificate of Insurance (COI) or fee-for instance, to use a building's freight elevator.
  • The pickup location.

I'll need a donation tax receipt or letter for my donation; does donateNYC provide this?

No. donateNYC does not provide any tax-related forms or thank-you confirmations for Exchange transactions. This must be arranged between the donor and recipient. If your business or organization will need a donation tax receipt, indicate that in the description of your donation listing. Although the value of your donated goods is not required in the description, you will need to declare a value for the donation tax receipt.

If your donation is valued at $5,000 or more, your organization may need to have the items appraised. NY State Tax laws state that donor (business or nonprofit) must complete an IRS form 8283 if the donor is claiming a tax deduction of $5,000 or more. The recipient of donated goods must complete an IRS Form 8282 if the value of the donation was $5,000 or more and the donated goods were sold or discarded within 3 years after the donation.

For specific tax information, consult with your accountant or tax professional.

Do I need a certificate of insurance (COI) to pick up my donation?

A COI is a document certifying that an organization carries sufficient liability insurance to cover the cost of any property damage that might occur while moving goods. Your organization will need a COI only if you will be picking up the donation and if the donor's building requires it.

How do I complete a successful or unsuccessful exchange?

If your donation is accepted, or your request for materials is filled, log in to your Exchange account and remove the listing and mark it "I made a successful exchange." Click "Remove" and fill out the additional information requested. Please note: you will be unable to exit from this web page unless you have filled out all requested fields.

If your donation was not accepted, or your request for materials was not filled, log in to your Exchange account and remove the listing by marking it "My listing was unsuccessful." Click "Remove" and fill out the exit survey asking why the listing was not successful.

If you remove a listing by mistake, continue to fill out the requested information as well as you can, and then email the site administrator.

What can I do if someone contacted me regarding a pickup but never showed up?

donateNYC does not have control over transactions in the Exchange, but site administrators do monitor exchanges and may ban users for misuse of the Exchange, including repeated no-shows. To report a no-show, log in to your Exchange account and contact the site administrator via email.

I can't donate my stuff; now what?

If your listing finds no acceptable recipient, please check out the How To Get Rid Of feature on the DSNY home page to look for other options.