The cost of donating a car to charity in California eclipses those of nearly every other type of donation, according to recent reports. From advertising and paperwork to towing and mechanical repairs, the steps it takes to donate a car to charity in California might gobble up a lot of resources and significantly erode the value of the donation before it’s deposited the coffers of the donee.
And on the flip-side, it’s a daunting task to solicit for vehicle donations. Most times, the charities divest the responsibilities of running these programs to commercial fund-raising agencies who charge them to solicit and manage donations on their behalf.
But despite all these negative pointers, the numbers of vehicle donations have strengthened over the past several years. The proceeding glut of donated vehicles has even led to a slump in their average market value.
The Value of a Vehicle Donation: How it is Valued
Generally, two primary variables determine the actual value which vehicle donations confer on the targeted charity bodies: the donated vehicle’s market value; and the cost of seeking out the donations.
In order to donate a car to charity in California, you need to first of all declare your interest in a particular charitable body’s solicitation campaign. When you reach out for the first time to the charitable body in this regard, you’ll be expected to give details about the vehicle’s condition. But any vehicle is usually accepted, except when the cost of logistics supersedes a vehicle’s value.
The vehicle is then passed on and sold. The proceeds either go straight to charity body’s coffers or is split between the charitable body and the commercial fundraiser they hired. The proceeds that make it to charity in many cases are usually slashed down to just small fractions of it.
The costs of ads, towing, and selling incurred when you donate a car to charity in California all take a toll on the proceeds and leave the charity with a significantly reduced value of the vehicle.
Cost of Vehicle Donations: Cutting Costs With Due Diligence
In most cases where everything is done with due diligence, these costs can be significantly minimized. As the donor, you can drive the car down to the charity yourself to avoid towing expenses. However, some commercial fundraisers offer free towing services.
The cost of storage can also be reduced by disposing vehicles quickly. In some cases, the charity can reach out to car buyers directly and cut out the middle men and auction houses.
It all boils down to how much due diligence is applied on both the parts of the donor and charity. To donate a car to charity in California, it’s advisable for you to go digging for info in the Attorney General’s annual Commercial Fundraiser report to find out how charities manage and spend their donations.
Donating to a Worthy Cause: How to Determine The Most Deserving Charity to Donate to
You can choose to donate your car to a charity in California that will deploy the vehicle directly in its operations. A lot of charities can use cars to deliver medical aid, meals or carry out rescue operations.
You can also use vehicle donations as an avenue to recycle your older model, greater mileage vehicles that give out harmful emissions and are not road worthy. Steel is the most recycled product in the US. By recycling your vehicle, you’re helping make available a highly valued resource for future use.
It’s also advisable to donate only to charitable bodies which manage their solicitation programs and donations by themselves. That way, you can be more certain that the funds won’t leak out to a hired fundraising agencies.
Should a middleman be involved, you should inquire about the agency’s charges and modus operandi.
All in all, you should avoid charities that engage in superficial causes which are not related to the provision of basic necessities. Target charities which bring direct relief to people in need. These can include V-Dac (Vehicle Donation to Any Charity), the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the American Cancer Society, and lots more.
Vehicle Donations Paperwork: Ensuring That The Vehicle Liability Transfer Process is Perfectly Executed
You must also pay close attention to the paperwork and ensure that things don’t go wrong on your own end. Reach out to your area’s Department of Motor Vehicles and see to it that the transfer of vehicle registration is completely processed.
The State of California requires that a vehicle donor turns over the Certificate of Title for the vehicle in order to validate the transfer of ownership. If the title is not available but was registered in the state of California, REG 227 and REG 262 forms may be completed instead.
To initiate the registration transfer process, all local Department of Motor Vehicles requires you to send them a “Release of Liability” form together with your title on the day which the vehicle donation is carried out.
You need to fill out all the details, including those of the “buyer/purchaser”, which has to be either the charity themselves or the commercial fundraisers. You must completely avoid making alterations on the print copies of the form for any reason, not even to correct your name.
If you don’t have the title, you can still do DMV paperwork for the donation by filling out REG 227 and REG 262 forms obtainable from a DMV office in your area.
However, though this procedure offers as much coverage, it takes more time than the normal procedure which involves the title. It’s much easier to change vehicle ownership when the titles are presented.
The state of California also requires that you leave the license plate on the vehicle upon donation, except the plate is personalized.
Vehicles Donations: The Importance of Getting it Right
If things are also done appropriately, you’ll be issued a tax receipt. But if this process isn’t duly complete, you may still bear liabilities for the vehicle’s, use.
So if you don’t take the complete steps to donate a car to a charity in California, you might still be wrongfully charged for the vehicle’s parking tickets and yearly registration renewal.