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Old March 2nd, 2013, 08:51 PM   #1
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Donating equipment

Ok, so I have a camera, or two or three that I no longer use. I was going to sell them, but then I thought I might donate them. Does anyone know if you get 'what' value if you donate?
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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Re: Donating equipment

I looked into that myself and according to my accountant he said go to ebay, check out the prices take an average of those prices and that would be pretty close to what you could call the value of the gear. He did however keep reminding me that the value is only a perceived number and that the real value is whatever someone is willing to pay. An accountant, go figure! ;-)
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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Re: Donating equipment

You get to deduct market value.

IMHO, if it has any market value, sell it. If it doesn't have a market value, you won't be able to donate it to anyone anyhow.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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Re: Donating equipment

Actually you can donate it no matter what the value. you just can't deduct it at any kind of value and there are lots of places that would love to have the equipement as long as it works. Many park districts and schools don't have any budget at all for stuff and are trying to have programs for kids but without gear.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 08:11 PM   #5
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Re: Donating equipment

Decided to sell it, oh well.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 11:28 PM   #6
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Re: Donating equipment

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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Actually you can donate it no matter what the value. you just can't deduct it at any kind of value and there are lots of places that would love to have the equipement as long as it works. Many park districts and schools don't have any budget at all for stuff and are trying to have programs for kids but without gear.
My experience both as a guy working for a public access station with no money who is begging for equipment, and as a guy working for a network affiliate who has to get rid of stuff after its useful life, I have to disagree. By the time equipment gets to the "oh hell, just GIVE it away" stage of life - it's better to just throw it away. There is a short period of time where *somebody* has to be the early adopter, and buys new equipment, then has old equipment that is actually worth something - which may be sold at pennies on the dollar. But by the time the price has reached "free", it's trash.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 01:43 AM   #7
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Re: Donating equipment

i shot a Muslim wedding for my Kung Fu master yesterday as a gift (very interesting!). i used a 5d mii, and the professional Malian photographer that was there had such a sad sack beat up old film camera that i decided to bring back my old Pentax K1000 for him when i can. so the actual value of donating old gear for him is huge. for me, the value is helping to build his capacity. i don't really know if there are places to donate old gear for less developed countries, but i do know that there is a real need...
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Old March 4th, 2013, 02:51 AM   #8
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Re: Donating equipment

Pass 'em on to worthy causes. Look for serious outfits trying to help young disadvantaged kids.

Check around, there might be a 10yr old undiscovered Spielberg in there.

In a few years, you could get a mention at the Oscars, it has happened :)

Cheers.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #9
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Re: Donating equipment

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Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
My experience both as a guy working for a public access station with no money who is begging for equipment, and as a guy working for a network affiliate who has to get rid of stuff after its useful life, I have to disagree. By the time equipment gets to the "oh hell, just GIVE it away" stage of life - it's better to just throw it away. There is a short period of time where *somebody* has to be the early adopter, and buys new equipment, then has old equipment that is actually worth something - which may be sold at pennies on the dollar. But by the time the price has reached "free", it's trash.
Well, in this instance, it's my GL2. It's almost in pristine condition. I agree to finding a worthy cause to donate to, and I'll do that in the future. Thanks for the info guys.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 09:55 AM   #10
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Re: Donating equipment

I tried to donate a boatload of gear to a local school's TV/Film program, and was told sadly that if the gear was not brand new they didn't want it.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 06:08 PM   #11
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Re: Donating equipment

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Well, in this instance, it's my GL2. It's almost in pristine condition. I agree to finding a worthy cause to donate to, and I'll do that in the future. Thanks for the info guys.
By "pristine condition", you mean 11 year-old standard definition camera?

I stand by my original remarks.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #12
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Re: Donating equipment

I donate whenever possible, but then I've been on the board of a few non-profits and currently am the chair of a non-profit I helped establish.

You need to donate because you feel the mission of the non-profit is worthy, not because you're going to get a write-off. The value of the deduction you get (in real dollars off your tax bill) will never be as much as you'd get selling the item on the open market.

For example, your GL2 would probably sell for $400 (based on past eBay auctions). If you donate that to a 501c3 charity, you could deduct $400 on your taxes. If your marginal tax rate is 25%, you're going to see an actual dollar value (savings on your tax bill) of $100. Yes, you could inflate the value to $1600 for tax purposes and get a $400 benefit, and you'd probably get away with it. But if you were audited you'd have to pay back that $300.

Now some here may be pooh-poohing the idea of donating a GL2 ("it's better to just throw it away") - but not everyone may use it the same way. For example, I recently helped broker a donation of a GL2 to a local ministry that wanted a camera with good optics and firewire output for a live web feed. The GL2 fit that bill perfectly. It's not an HD camera, but the video feed was only going to be 480p anyway...
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