Need help giving a piano away …

I’ve got a beautiful, performance quality grand piano, and it needs a good home. My personal conviction is that even things need love and I shouldn’t hold on to them if I can’t give that to them. For much of my life, my piano has been my refuge and happy place. But I’m pretty happy all the time anymore, and–I have to be honest with myself–it has been years since I’ve played with any regularity. Now that I’m moving into a space about half the size of what I’m accustomed to, it is the time to bequeath my beloved instrument to someone who will give it the kind of attention it deserves.

Here’s the trick: I need to be able to write it off my taxes. That means I could use your help with two questions …

1. Can anyone recommend a personal accountant in Boulder to help me determine how much of the donation I can write off? (Is it FMV or adjusted basis? Can I include moving, maintenance, and loan interest in adjusted basis? Etc.)

2. Can you help me find a tax-exempt (501c3) organization that I can donate it to? This will require a small amount of work on your part. I could spend hours calling around to Boulder churches, non-profit schools and hospitals, public parks and rec facilities, charitable organizations (e.g., Red Cross), veterans’ organizations, and I would surely find someone who would take the piano. But I don’t have that kind of time or energy. What I need is a specific, viable donee. If you think you know of a place that would be interested, before giving me their contact info, could you please give them a quick call and find out if they are a (1) qualified charitable organization (they will know if they are) and (2) they would be interested in a donated grand piano. I would enjoy giving it to a place that I have a personal connection with, through you.

Here is the info:

6′ 1" parlor grand
1996 Young Chang
very well maintained
original owner
high action, bright sound
black finish
+ artist’s bench
+ padded cover
Appraised at just over $14,000

Thanks for your help.

3 thoughts on “Need help giving a piano away …

  1. I usually donate to the National Council of Jewish Women thrift shop in LA, because they provide you with a receipt for the actual value of your donation, rather than just that you donated X items. My understanding of tax laws is that you can donate goods up to the value of $500 without documentation (unless you are audited and then you must prove that the amount you claimed is the actual value, and without a receipt like NCJW/LA provide, you’d have to price t-shirts, shoes and whatever else at thrift stores and add it all up). For goods over $500, you must provide more information in your tax return, like who you donated to, their address, etc. I’m trying to remember if there’s a check box for “receipt” or not, and am at a loss, but you’d definitely have to have it if you were audited. I’ve emailed the NCJW office in NYC to see if they have a Boulder chapter and who to contact there, if so. In this instance, write-off amount would not be appraisal amount but going price in the store. (LA has high end thrift stores, let me tell you.)

    You might check with a tax guy about donating to a local school/college/at-risk-youth arts program type of thing. I don’t know if your local high school would count as a 501(c)3, but there might be some other charitable gift statute it might fall under. I know you don’t have time, but it was a thought, and for some reason, I feel like you know someone involved in that kind of thing already… or maybe I’m crazy.

  2. My church doesn’t have a piano; I called my pastor, and he said that they might possibly be interested. He needs to know a little bit more, though, so he said to give you his e-mail — it’s tim [dot] gillmore [at] gccdenver [dot] org


  3. piano

    My campus ministry is very interested! We’re at Wesley Chapel across the street from Folsom Field in Boulder, at the corner of University Heights Ave, 1 block north of Colorado Ave.
    Yes, we can provide a tax deductible gift letter.
    Call me: Roger 720.352.8648 or brotherrog at hotmail dot com

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