February 7, 2018

Wise Giving Wednesday: Donating Cars to Charity

For some households, the donation of a car to charity can represent the single largest contribution made to charity during the year. This is all the more reason for donors to make sure their generosity is helping those in need while also resulting in the anticipated tax deduction. Unfortunately, contributors need to be careful as appeals for such in-kind gifts can also lead to disappointments if proper steps are not taken. 

Of course, the first step is to check out the charity before making such a gift, especially if you are unfamiliar with the organization. Don’t assume what the charity does based solely on its name. In addition to ensuring the charity is registered to solicit with the government agency in your state that regulates charities (usually a division of the office of the state’s attorney general), see if there is a report on the group at Give.org which specifies that the charity meets the 20 BBB Charity Standards. 

Ask the charity how much it receives from the charity auction that sells the collected used cars. It could be a percentage of the gross sales or a fixed amount per vehicle. In some cases, the organization may be receiving just a small amount. 

See the following IRS Publication on car donations to learn about the tax deductibility rules involving such gifts https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4303.pdf 

Finally to avoid potential trouble, make sure to transfer the title of the car to the charity’s name before it leaves your possession. This avoids the hassle of dealing with the car being involved in an accident and/or is parked illegally after you make the donation. 

For additional tips on car donations visit: http://www.give.org/for-donors/about-specific-giving-guidance/car-donations/ 

Video of the Week 

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Michelle Jackson, President & CEO, Ability Connection Oklahoma (a BBB Accredited Charity) that provides programs and services for individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities in Oklahoma. 

Recent Reports 

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to https://www.give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity1/ if you are  interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.   

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance