? The Importance of Car Donation to Charity and Non-profit Organizations
While a bevy of advertisements encouraging car donation to charity would lead one to believe that such donations are a major force behind fundraising for legitimate charities and non-profit organizations (NPOs), most charities are far more reliant upon more traditional methods of giving. Non-cash donations continue to be dominated by donations of household goods to thrift stores and stock donations than vehicle donations.
When contemplating a car donation to charity, one should consider just how the charity or NPO in question could actually use the donation of a vehicle. Just as there are now restrictions of usefulness on what one can claim from household object donations, a car that runs (or can at least be repaired without major capital investment) is far more valuable to a charity that can actually use the car directly to further their charitable mission.
Consider a charity that employs a third party, for-profit organization to facilitiate all car donations to charity. After their cut is taken, there is sometimes very little left over to actually be donated to the charity in question. Moreover, if you give a car that is only fit for scrap, the invoice statement you’ll be given as a guide to your actual deduction benefit will reflect this.
Usually the value is far higher for a running car in terms of total money produced by the sale of your car as well the percentage of that the charity is able to keep from said sale. This means more money to reduce your net taxable income, too. Cosmetic damages are usually unimportant to a NPO or charity that is primarily concerned with the functionality of non-cash automotive donations.
Because many of the third-party agents that handle car donations to charity have turned their attentions elsewhere since 2005, there are many NPOs that formerly took auto donations but are no longer accepting them because of all the bother associated with running such a program themselves.
Sometimes, this is simply because the agency lacks a tow truck of its own to pick up cars. Whether they’re running or not, vehicles are almost always towed away to avoid liability issues. As such, this type of car donation to charity, even if the tow truck in question is not in the best shape ever, can be incredibly useful as well as being a high-ticket item for deduction purposes. Not only will you be able to claim a highly useful fair market value deduction, but you’ll also help the charity or NPO collect a lot more money and automobiles in useful car donations that they may have otherwise had to pass on.
Of course, another way to maximize your donation dollars is to make sure you have a free and clear title that can be easily transferred without making staff members of the non-profit jump through proverbial flaming hoops at the department of motor vehicle office. Often people remove the existing license plates and leave the title inside the glove-box for the towing company to find. This allows you to make sure that you’re not held liable for any of the traffic violations a teenage Meals on Wheels volunteer may commit with your former car. Donations to charity don’t need to put you in a vulnerable position!
Overall, the reliance of most NPOs on car donations to charity has remained somewhat low. This is true of most charitable organizations with the exception of those that specialize in giving cars away to needy folks who require reliable transportation. Even if they sell them at a discounted rate, such charities are especially valuable to donors as well as the populations they serve.
If your car is still running, even if it has become ugly, is of great use to many of the organizations that still accept car donations to charity. Choose wisely to make sure your car is put to the best possible use. If your car is fit for little else than scrap, donating it to a charity that requires running vehicles may not be much of a useful donation at all.
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