Many wonderful organizations accept vehicle donations. Some will use these vehicles for programmatic purposes, but the vast majority liquidate them. If you have a car or other vehicle that you are not using and do not need an income from, donating it is a great way to help an organization. However, it can be difficult to know where to start. So, I have prepared five tips or things to consider when donating a vehicle that may help you in the process of deciding to who and how to donate.
- Treat the vehicle donation as you would any large monetary donation in that it is your responsibility as a donor to do due diligence regarding the organization. Don’t just donate because they accept vehicles. How are their finances? Do you believe they are doing what they say they are? Are they transparent and honest?
- Look at how much your chosen charity is actually getting from your donation. Many organizations use independent agents to sell the vehicles donated, which may take a large cut.
- Take a tax deduction. In-kind donations, such as vehicles, can still count towards your tax-deductible donations. For information on how to facilitate this, see this guide
- Never leave the “buyer” section of the title blank. For legal reasons, you are responsible for the title paperwork. Don’t leave anything up to chance or the people to whom you are donating.
- Ask questions! The place you are donating a vehicle to has a responsibility to be transparent about the process. Don’t feel bad to have them hold your hand through the process.
I hope you enjoy making a difference in this way if you are able! Also, I hope these tips help you decide when and if vehicle donation is the right choice for you.