June 13, 2008, Newsletter Issue #108: Charities Compete for Car Donors

Tip of the Week

There are hundreds, even thousands, of car donation services competing for your charitable donations. Take full advantage of the competition to ensure your needs are met when giving. The unwanted vehicle sitting in your driveway may be the most valueable charitable gift you make in a year.
The nonprofit group Network for Good encourages donors to be informed, and to ask questions. This is especially true for car donations, where you may not be sure how your donation will benefit the cause or service you want to support. Unless you ask. Hidden costs for processing cars sometimes leave little for the charity's mission.
Here's some giving advice from Network for Good:
-- Use the Internet as a research tool to find the charity and cause you want to support. Network for Good, for example, offers a free database of more than a million charities. Look up the charities in your zipcode.
-- Ask the charity how it plans to use the proceeds from selling your car donation. Ask to see its most recent annual report, which will show its financial health.
-- Protect your privacy. Ask if the charity shares, or sells, your personal information with other organizations. You may want to tell the charity not to share information about you. Most charities have a policy that allows refusal.
-- Keep your receipts. Expect to get a receipt when you make your car donation, and a second receipt when the car donation is sold. You will need these for tax purposes.

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