legitimate car donation charities

legitimate car donation charities

How to Find the Best Charities to Donate Your Vehicle

Donating your car to charity is a thoughtful and generous act. It’s also one that can save you some money on taxes. Many non-profit organizations that take automobile donations advertise it heavily, but doing research is necessary before you hand over your keys. Here’s what you should know if you want to find the best charities to donate your vehicle.

Non-Profits That Accept Car Donations 

Some charities advertise on TV and radio that they accept car donations. But these aren’t the only nonprofits to take donations of used cars; in fact, a wide range of charities will accept car donations. Keeping that in mind, a good start may be to look for charities whose causes you find noble (and whose reputations are spotless), and to check their websites to see if they accept car donations. It may be the case that organizations you’re already supporting through more traditional donations also accept vehicles.

Some will make direct use of your car, such as a charity which delivers meals to the homeless or needy. Understand, though, that most charities will not ultimately use your car. Instead, they’ll sell it and use the proceeds to fund their programs.

While there are some charities that act as a third party for other non-profits, it’s best to avoid those groups. When you donate directly, you can find out exactly how and when the organization will use the donated vehicle.

Check That the Charity Is Legitimate 

Be sure you’re donating to a legitimate and reputable non-profit. Look for groups that have a longer history and whose information is in either the IRS’s tax-exempt organization database or a national charity database.

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Donation Total: $2,500.00

Transfer the Title Accurately

Whether you donate a car or sell it to an individual or corporation, you’ll need to transfer the title properly. If you do not, you are legally responsible for parking tickets, accidents or crimes committed by the next owner.

All legitimate non-profits will ask that you transfer the title to them. They will not ask you to leave that information in the donation paperwork blank. Some of the non-profits will sell your used vehicle at an auction in the future. If the car sells at an auction and the new buyer does not register the car, you are still legally responsible for any incidents or crimes.

Paperwork Is Key

Make sure you receive paperwork for your donation and maintain it. Scanning copies or taking photos and storing your files in the cloud ensures that you don’t lose them. They’ll be especially important for any possible tax audits or other purposes.