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End Of Year Donations High As Charities Worry About “Fiscal Cliff”

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - For the past week, cars, pick-ups and SUV’s have lined up at Goodwill Industries donation sites. Some are loaded with clothes. Others carry large appliances and electronics.  The looming tax season has people making charitable donations before the year ends.

“I’m trying to get the credit for taxes,” Pat Lankhorst said, as she dropped off bags of clothing. “Every little bit helps.”

The donors are a welcome site at Fort Worth area Goodwill drop-off sites.

“Its just a long line, like In-N-Out Burger or something,” said Marcello Garner, a Goodwill employee in the receiving area of a Fort Worth drop off site. “Just cars lined up all the way out there.”

Many donors worry a last-minute Washington budget deal might slash charitable write-off on taxes.

“I’m worried about that and other aspects,” said donor Paul Kalachnik. “The write-off on my house. Payroll taxes.”

And those kinds of economic worries mean even with the last-minute rush, charities still have more takers than givers.

(credit: CBS 11 News)

(credit: CBS 11 News)

“People are trying to save more money than ever before. They’re coming into our stores and finding those great deals,” said David Cox, Senior Vice-President of Retail Sales and Marketing for Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth. “Second, they’re hanging on to stuff a little longer than they used to. Donations can go down in uncertain economic times.”

A survey of non-profits conducted by GuideStar found 77% of the groups responding saw smaller individual donations this year.

At the same time, 38% percent reported moderate increase in demand, 26% reported demand had increased greatly.

At places like Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, the end-of-year donations for tax write-offs are appreciated.

But they’re still not sure they’ll have the resources to meet demand through the first few months of 2013.

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