Where to Donate Magazines: 8 Places That Need them

Published October 16, 2020
Stack of magazines

Where to donate magazines is often a dilemma when you wish to get them in the hands of people who need them and will appreciate having them available. You can find places that have a genuine need for reading material like magazines.

1. Where to Donate Magazines for Military Troops

You can donate your used magazines to troops of the US military. American military personnel, especially those serving out of the country, often seek reading material. If they have limited internet access, magazines are a prime commodity. There are specific guidelines for making magazine donations and the types of materials that are appropriate. Magazines accepted include ones like Southern Living, Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek; just about everything has been requested. Just please refrain from sending pornographic materials. You can learn where to donate magazines by contacting various organizations dedicated to delivering or serving as a clearinghouse to connect troops with donations.

Books for Soldiers

Books for Soldiers allows magazine donations. The website is a clearinghouse for soldiers' requests for reading material. It features a group request forum where soldiers post their requests for reading materials. You must sign up for an account in order to access the forum to search for requested reading material. When you select a request, you will address your package directly to the soldier making the request and will be responsible for all shipping and handling charges. In following tradition, many people also include other useful items that soldiers may enjoy as well as a letter.

2. Magazine Harvest

Magazine Harvest offers a great way to give your magazines a second life. This organization will take clean and gently read magazines for all ages. The focus of Magazine Harvest is a desire to promote literacy among at-risk readers of all ages. You're required to complete an online form and list the magazines or comics you wish to donate along with the quantity of each. In return, you'll receive a shipping label. You are instructed to use a black permanent marker to black out your mailing information. The volunteers will then apply a clean opaque mailing label over the one on your magazines. You will use a flat rate USPS box to send your magazines directly to Magazine Harvest using the provided mailing label. An average box costs $15 to mail and can serve at least 25, possibly more readers.

3. Savers

Savers superstore is a community thrift store where you can donate your magazines. Donating is easy. You can use the store locator at the bottom of the website page to see if there is a local store or at least one within a 100-mile radius of your home where you can drop off your magazines.

4. Freecycle

If you've never heard of Freecycle, you're in for a donator's dream. This is like an old-fashioned swap shop, only better. With Freecycle, you don't have to swap anything. You can post your offer of magazines to your local group. If anyone there wants them, they will contact you to arrange a pickup. You can also check the wanted posts for your local group to see if anyone is asking for magazines. You'll need to search by zip code to find your local group, then create an account so you can participate in your local online group.

5. MagLiteracy

MagLiteracy is an organization that promotes literacy and provides magazines to all ages to encourage reading/literacy. You must complete an online form and list the magazines you wish to donate. You'll be supplied a shipping label.

kids reading a magazine

Make sure your magazines are in good condition. You cannot donate magazines that have torn or cut pages or covers. The magazines cannot have any type of writing or drawing on them. You cannot donate magazines if there's moisture damage to the covers or any pages. You also need to give an approximate number of magazines you wish to donate. You must black out your mailing label with a permanent marker.

6. US Modernist

Old architecture and design magazines can be donated to US Modernist. The type of magazines this site needs are older magazines often found in attics and basements. These magazines are considered legacy publications. The US Modernist wishes to preserve the magazine legacies by scanning them. This way they can make the magazines available to the public to search, print, and/or download. The site provides the boxes and pays for shipping costs.

7. Local Reuse Center

You can check to see if there is a local reuse center that accepts magazines. An example of this type of center is the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland, California. The Depot accepts magazine donations that you can drop off at their loading dock. If you have a larger donation, you can call their pickup service. When calling to arrange pickup, you are required to leave details about what you're donating and your address. The Depot resells the magazines and other items to individuals, usually artists and teachers.

8. Country Department of Social Services

Social Services may seem like an unlikely resource for magazine donations, but some country social services offer a listing of local agencies and organizations that accept magazine donations as well as other items. For example, the Stafford County Department of Social Services in Stafford County, Virginia lists the Mary Washington Hospice, Rappahannock Area Child Development, and Kenmore Club as accepting magazine donations.

Where to Donate Magazines to Help Others

There are many local places you can check to see if they accept magazine donations, such as libraries, nursing homes, women and family shelters, hospitals, and homeless shelters. While magazines may seem like small donations, they can have a far-reaching impact on those receiving your used magazines.

Where to Donate Magazines: 8 Places That Need them