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Donate Car to Charity California and Donate Car for Tax Credit, Donate Your Car Sacramento and Car Insurance Quotes Colorado , Donate a Car in Maryland, Donating a Car in Maryland, Donate Cars Illinois, Online College Course, Automobile Accident Attorney, Auto Accident Attorney, Car Accident Lawyers, MAKING GOOD Still, some make it work a lot better than others. • Advanced Remarketing Services of Warren RI processed $1.1 million of vehicle donations for the Independent Charities of America in Larkspur, CA. The charity got $888,104, or 78.4 percent. • Advanced Remarketing Services processed $523,053 of donations for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. The charity got $426,764, or 82 percent. • Automotive Recovery Services processed $1.4 million of donations for the National Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Maryland Heights, MO. The charity got $1.1 million, or 74 percent. • Automotive Recovery Services also processed $2.7 million of donations for the National Kidney Foundation in New York. The charity got $1.9 million, or 69 percent. Zachary Lasky is the e-commerce product manager for Advanced Remarketing Services. “Our goal is to return 70 to 80 percent to the charity – we form a partnership with them. We’re not tyring to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes,” Lasky said. It can return so much because it doesn’t depend solely on auctions to sell the vehicles, he said. That includes selling directly to buyers, which cuts down on auction fees. Advanced Remarketing Services also avoids storing vehicles for long period of time – which cuts down on storage fees – and on expensive towing. “It’s definitely disappointing to see people taking advantage, maybe not have the best interest of the charity they work with at heart,” he said. Donors should read the tea leaves. Charities that are willing to accept just a tiny fraction of donation proceeds may deserve further financial scrutiny. FOR EXAMPLE Fullerton’s Faith’s Hope Foundation was dedicated to “assisting families going through the emotional and financial hardship due to the hospitalization of a loved one,” according to its mission statement. In 2012 – the last year it filed tax returns with the IRS – it spent $3.5 million, and $3.3 million of that went to fundraising. Spending on its aforementioned core mission was just $157,533, or 4.5 percent (charity watchdogs like to see at least 65 percent of spending on the core mission). The IRS revoked Faith’s Hope Foundation nonprofit status last year, after the charity failed to file tax returns for three straight years. Also, according to their IRS filings: • The Car Donation Foundation, which does business as Wheels for Wishes, spent $27.3 million in 2015. More than half of that – 51 percent – went to fundraising. • Growing in Voices in Irvine, which “promotes charitable giving by connecting people with the chanties and causes they care most about and supports humanitarian services to the hungry, poor and sick,” spent $11.9 million in 2014. Of that, $10.9 million went to fundraising. • National Veterans Service Fund, whose mission is “to educate and inform the public on the needs of veterans and their families, primarily concerning the Agent Orange Issue and Gulf War illnesses,” spent $9 million in 2015. Six million of that – 66 percent – was spent on fundraising. Dangerous curves ahead, donors. Do your homework, and proceed with caution. SMART PERSON’S GUIDE CHARITY CAR DONATIONS • Do your research. CharityNavigator and Guidestar are great places to start to check out how charities spend their money. The Attorney General lays out how much each charity actually gets, compared to the value of the donations, in its annual Commercial Fundraisers report. • Give vehicles to charities that can actually use them – delivering meals to the homebound, taking elderly people to the doctor, etc. Contact the United Way, a community college or vocational school to find programs that need donated vehicles. • Find a charity that handles its own car donations. That cuts out the middle-man and allows the charity to keep all the proceeds. If your favorite charity doesn’t accept cars directly, find one that does. • If the car runs, drive it to the charity yourself. That’ll save money on pickup and towing. • If you still want to give to a charity that uses a middleman, ask what percentage of your donation the charity will actually get. • Do paperwork correctly. Donors are responsible for notifying the Department of Motor Vehicles of the transfer of registration. You can be held responsible for parking tickets and worse if you don’t formally sign the car over to the nonprofit.
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