Much as donating your car is primarily motivated by altruism, there is the need to be aware of what you are getting yourself into. You ideally want to have your contribution have the most impact as well as get something out of the process if possible. You, therefore, need to find the best place to donate a car to charity in order to achieve this. Yes, getting rid of that extra car you do not need lifts some weight of your shoulder, but did you know there’s more benefit to both parties than just the act of kindness. This article will answer all the questions you have regarding the process and how to make the most of it.
Here’s why you should consider donating your car if you haven’t already decided
The best place to donate car to charity should ideally give you the benefits mentioned herein.
- You get to qualify for tax breaks – Charity donations are tax-deductible in most countries (the specifics may vary). You get a tax deduction based on the fair market value of the car. It is, however, important to take note of the following;
- The receiving charity usually issues a receipt acknowledging the donation immediately or at the end of their financial year.
- The contribution is deductible in the year that it is paid.
- Not all charitable organizations will qualify for the charitable contribution deduction. Look out for our list of reputable car donation charities. Any reputable charity organization should be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a non-profit organization.
- There is an upper limit to the amount of deduction one can qualify for but it is set high and is really unlikely you will reach it.
- Every contribution has an impact – Contrary to popular belief, there are some reputable car donation charity organizations that go the extra mile to ensure that maximum utility is obtained from one’s contribution. As a rule of thumb, it is always important to do a background search on the different organizations so as to ensure this. We have taken the liberty to list the ones that we found particularly lean and efficient.
- Get to support the cause you believe in. By donating your car, you get to directly contribute to a specific cause.
- You get to avoid the hassle of advertising and selling.
- Donating to charity benefits the world’s neediest people.
- There is happiness in giving, as found out by a Harvard Business School Study. There exists a direct correlation between giving and happiness.
How will my donated vehicle be used by the charity organization?
This will vary from one organization to another. However, this generally depends on the condition of the vehicle and the particular need(s) of the organization at any given time. The likely options are either of the two;
- Retained for logistics and transportation by the organization – If the car is in great condition, then this may be the likely option.
- Sold to raise funds for the organization’s cause – This is the most common option because it gives the charity organization the flexibility to address what it deems pertinent at that particular time. It is usually sold through an auction to dealers and recyclers. It is always in the best interest of the charity to get a high price so it’s a win-win for both parties.
How do I donate/ Requirements
In order to be eligible to donate a vehicle, you will require the following;
- Original Title to the vehicle
- Fill out the standard donation forms. (This will vary depending with the charity organization)
As soon as you fill the paperwork and give consent, then you are almost there. All that is left is organizing for the car pick up.
Reputable car donation charities
You can get a comprehensive list of the recognized charities from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) website. However, the following are some of the best charities to donate your car to;
1. Habitat for humanity
One of the most widely known charities where you can donate a car is Habitat for Humanity. The non-profit organization brings together volunteers and resources to develop simple and affordable housing solutions in low-income areas. It aims at giving each individual an opportunity for fair housing. Their Cars for Homes program is popular because of the ease of the process as well as the transparency from the organization. You cannot go wrong with Habitat for humanity car donation.
2. National Kidney Foundation
The NKF (National Kidney Foundation) has a Kidney Car program that has been tried and tested and has proven to be one of the easiest and fastest ways to donate your car and make an immediate impact. Since its inception, it has raised over $250 Million. The proceeds go to fund lifesaving procedures for patients with kidney disease. It is a choice worth checking out.
3. American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a reputable organization that specializes in cancer research. It receives a significant amount of its funding from donations. They accept car donations(Car for a Cure) and is an ideal choice for you if you do not want the car resold but rather used directly by the organization. The obvious reason for this preference is the increased tax deduction because the car will be valued at fair market value. Also, the organization saves on other costs that would have been associated with the sale of the vehicle such as advertisements.
Donating towards a specific cause?
Do you have a cause in mind but you do not have a particular charity organization in mind? Worry not, we have categorized the different causes to make it easier for you to make a difference. Check out the following;
1. Reputable charities accepting car donations to help children – This goes towards supporting issues facing children worldwide ranging from hunger, disease, and access to education just to name a few.
- Feed the children
- One laptop per child
- Children’s wishes
- Songs of love
- Mind Body Awareness Project
- Adoption Rhode Island
- NPH USA
- Bert’s big adventure
- D.A.R.E. Massachusetts
- Toys for Tots
- Child Find of America
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
2. Reputable Charities accepting car donations to benefit animals in need – This goes towards solving issues ranging from homelessness, animal cruelty, vaccination as well as animal rescue. You can contribute to the following organizations;
- Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue
- Search Dog Foundation, National Disaster
- The Washington Animal Rescue League
- Days End Farm Horse Rescue
- Greyhound Welfare
- Canine Companions for Independence
- PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
- Animal Rescue, Inc.
- Alley Cat Allies
- Save the Manatee Club, Inc.
- NEADS Inc
- Labs4Rescue, Inc.
- We Share Hope
- Alameda County Community Food Bank
- Rhode Island PBS
- Ocean State Theatre Co., Inc.
- Preserve Our GAS(Great American Songbook)
- Habitat for Humanity
- WORLD Magazine
- Feed My People
- Salvation Army
- Bethany Christian Services
- Vets Vehicles
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation
- AMVETS Charities
- DAV (Disabled American Veterans)
- Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
- Fisher House Foundation
- Special Operations Warrior Foundation
- American Cancer Society
- ALS Association
- Arthritis Foundation
- American Liver Foundation
- March of Dimes
- disABLEDperson Inc.
- Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
- Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network
- Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany, Inc.
- Down Syndrome Congress, National
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
- PKD Foundation
Tips and Warnings
- Make sure the organization is registered with the IRS.
- Ensure you have a paper trail. Make sure you get official receipts, valuation documents e.t.c. Record-keeping is important as issues such as tax disputes that may arise in the future will be relatively-easier to solve.
- Find an organization that does not charge a removal or towing fee. Where possible, it may be cheaper to deliver the car yourself. To ensure the best option is followed, a cost-benefit analysis of the different options would be important before settling for a decision.
- Giving the car to a reputable charity organization that actually uses the car as opposed to selling it gains you the most tax-deduction as this will be calculated base on the fair market value rather than the price sold in the case of the latter option.
- If possible, donate directly to the reputable charity organization as opposed to using third-party services, who may incur towing charges as well as handling and storage charges. They may also sell at a less favorable price since they are not as incentivized as the charity organization itself.
- If you have to work with a third party, then ensure that they return at least 80% of the gross proceeds from the sale of the car to the charity organization of your choice. This will prevent you from getting taken advantage of by exorbitant dealers and eventually ensuring maximum utility of your contribution.
- The term car covers small cars, trucks, boats, RV, trailers, and even construction vehicles. The same rules apply across the board.
Reputable Extended Car Warranty Companies
If you’re reading this, you probably have a car that you may want to donate. You probably have a standard warranty. It is important for you to know more about reputable extended car warranty companies as it may come in handy in saving you unforeseen costs.
In addition to the standard warranty, new or sold cars are usually covered by an extra warranty provided by the retailer. The extended warranty, for a percentage of the item’s value, normally covers fewer items specifically mechanical failures that may arise as a result of normal usage. They are nonetheless very important as they are bundled with services you may not find in the standard warranty such as trip interruption insurance as well as roadside assistance. They also cover the drivers after the factory warranty ends. They are also referred to as a maintenance agreement or service contract.
Here’s all you need to know before getting that extended car warranty
- The extended warranty will make a lot of sense in your case because it is likely that the manufacturer’s plan ran out(because you are most likely donating a used car). The extended coverage will protect you(and the charity) from losing out on the maximum value of the car when resold because it will cover the mechanical problems that would have otherwise reduced the value of the car. This could be just before selling or even during the transfer of ownership process. You will end up getting more money for the charity and getting more tax deductions.
- Take note of the duration of the cover. It should come out clear as to what the term of the cover is and when it starts. Let’s say you purchased a 50,000-mile extended car warranty, does it cover from the time you take the cover or when the car was originally new? It is important to have the issues clarified with your provider.
- The extended car warranty providers are out to give themselves minimum exposure and it is your responsibility to do the due diligence to find out what is covered and what is not. Make sure to thoroughly go through the service agreement.
- Some extended car warranty agreements have an option to opt out at a future date. In such a case, you will receive a prorated refund amount relative to the extended car warranty.
- Negotiate for an extended car warranty that is transferable. This will ensure that whatever happens to the car during transit or transfer may not affect the fair market value of the car.
Here is a list of some reputable companies that offer the extended car warranty
- CARCHEX – It is recommended for budget-conscious car owners as well as high-mileage cars.
- AA Auto Protection – With over 29 years in the industry, they provide reliability and has a flexible payment option.
- Delta Auto Protect – They have great customer service, quick repairs, and an easy claim process.
- Endurance – They are a direct supplier, which means they take care of the claim themselves resulting in a hassle-free claims process. They also have nationwide coverage.
- Concord Auto Protect – It is great for individuals with specific needs as the terms of cover are flexible.
We, therefore, recommend donating to the listed reputable charity organizations and getting a transferable extended car warranty as soon as possible(why not enjoy the benefits before donating) from the recommended service providers.
Giving to charity is always fulfilling. However, it is much more fulfilling knowing that at the end of the giving process, the maximum benefit has been attained by the reputable charity organization and receiving some benefit individually in the process is just icing on the cake. It is because of this that it is always important to do your due diligence to get the most favorable deal. It may not be easy, that’s why we have taken the hassle off your hands to help you help the world. By following the outlined guidelines, you make the most of your donation.