Donate your car

2 min read

Donating a car or boat to charity

The billboards and commercials on the radio encouraging, "Donate Your Car" or "Donate Your Boat" are prevalent through societies media today. This method of giving has become so commonly used that organizations now specialize in the processing of such transactions. Apparently their processes are intended to remove any inconvenience from the donor’s side. Having never donated a car or boat through one of these specialized organizations, we cannot provide testimony to the ease of the process. However, we have donated automobiles before and will let you know that for most charitable organizations this process can be very cumbersome.

Donating a car to small nonprofits

Smaller nonprofits, those without staff assigned to processing donations outside the traditional format of cash, check or card, will have a difficult time receiving a donated car or boat. The difficulty with which such a donation is received by the nonprofit leads to the car or boat being undervalued in the transaction. Often, the result is the car or boat providing much less benefit than what it should when compared to real market value.

Donated cars and boats are certainly a kind and generous gesture by donors and any nonprofit with the opportunity to receive such a gift will most likely do so with enthusiasm. However, it is important for the donor to understand that their car or boat will not be valued to the level they anticipate.

Reason to donate car

A donor considering a gift of their car or boat should first establish the reason for that method of donating. If such a gift is being made to alleviate some stress from having to sell an old car or boat, the devaluation of the vehicle is likely not a problem. But if the donor’s intention is to provide a maximized donation to a nonprofit of interest, we would suggest selling the car or boat and donating the proceeds to the charity of choice. You will be much more likely to get a better price for your car than the nonprofit.