How to Donate Land to Charity

by Jamie Lisse
Carefully calculate the costs of building on the land your finance.

If you have some land that you do not want to develop or no longer need, you do not have to spend time trying to sell the real estate. Instead, you can donate your land to a charitable organization. When you donate land to a charitable organization, you can claim the value of the land on your taxes, which lowers your tax liability. You typically cannot donate your land if you have a loan outstanding on it however; you must own the land free and clear.

Consult with a real estate appraiser in your area to get your land appraised before you donate it. If you do not know any appraisers in your area, you can get referrals from local real estate agents. You must get the appraisal in writing if you intend to claim the donation on your taxes.

Fill out an online donation form with one of the real estate donation centers, such as Real Estate with Causes or Real Estate Donation, to donate you land through a company that specializes in land donation. You can typically select a charity from a predetermined list to benefit from your land donation. If you don't want to donate through a service like this, you can go to a charity directly, such as the West Wisconsin Land Trust. Additionally, you can search for charities on the Charity Vault website, but you will need to use the contact details there to ask if land donations are accepted.

Make written instructions on how you want the land used, if you have a preference. This typically cannot be done if you are using a specialized real estate donation center, such as Real Estate with Causes. If you are donating directly, you can make the specification.

Sign over the deed to the land to the charitable organization that you have selected. When you do this, get your donation receipt, which you need to claim the donation on your taxes.

About the Author

Jamie Lisse has been writing professionally since 1997. She has published works with a number of online and print publishers. Her areas of expertise include finance and accounting, travel, entertainment, digital media and technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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