People who donate their money or other valuables to charity find happiness because they helped someone improve their circumstances. According to the research of the Centre for Market and Public Organisation of the University of Bristol, when you ask people if they are willing to donate, there is a very high chance that they will act positively, doubling the rate of donations easily.
Aside from monetary donations and sponsorships of various kinds, reputable car donation charities started a new way of accepting donations from willing donors. Instead of asking people to share their money, send someone to school or medical institutions, or finance the daily expenses of a family, these charitable institutions allow people to donate their vehicles. These vehicles are then sold at an auction, with the proceeds of which given to the predetermined person. These charitable institutions often partner with another cause-oriented group, like the National Kidney Foundation, to successfully bring donations to the needing recipients.
Then again, not all charities are legitimate. In fact, in 2018, the National Center for Disaster Fraud received over 400 fraud complaints after Hurricane Harvey destroyed properties and claimed lives in Texas. This year, specifically last May, the Federal Trade Commission reported 36,000 fraud complaints. For your protection and in defence of the legit charities, you must be picky with the cause-oriented groups that you donate to. Especially when you are assigning your car donations, you need to make sure that the valuables you parted with reaches the hands of deserving and real beneficiaries. If you are not sure how to spot legit and reputable car donation charities, check these tips from the United States government.
Research the charity
Of course, you have to check the legitimacy of the organization. There are different government offices and websites you can consult to ensure that you are not supporting a sham organization, and they are the following:
- Internal Revenue Service: This office offers tips for taxing purposes to donors.
- IRS tax-exempt database: Through this website, you can check the 501(c)3 status of any charitable institution. As a general rule, a charity needs to have this status if they need to deduct the value of your donation on your taxes.
- Attorney General’s office: Every state provides licenses to charitable organizations through the state-appointed Attorney General. The Attorney General’s office also keeps copies of the fraud complaints filed against charities in their jurisdiction.
- Better Business Bureau: Here, you can ask for copies of the reports the agency made about large charitable institutions, including information on how they use the funds they have gathered from donors.
Deliver your vehicle for donation personally
Some charities send someone to pick up your car and drive them to the office of the organization. If you deliver your donated car personally, you can have the organization save on gas and effort. Plus, you can also arrange and finish the paperwork in their office, too. So, it’s a win-win solution for both parties. On top of that, seeing the physical office and a glimpse of how the organization operates can help you ascertain if they are valid.
These are just a few tips that can help you from getting scammed. While you trust the goodwill and pure intentions of these institutions, it would not hurt to protect yourself from getting scammed. After all, if you get scammed, the very reason that drove you to donate — to help other people and save lives– will be defeated.