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August 16, 2013

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By Andrea

While the act of altruistic a agent to alms is generally acclimated to abate an assets tax burden, bodies such as Greg Auchter of Mount Penn Borough pursued the endeavor aloof to accord to a advantageous cause. Auchter is one of the bags of individuals who donated a agent to alms in 2019, acquisitive to accomplish a difference.

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But while addictive jingles and abrupt slogans on commercials animate owners to accord their cartage to charity, not all is as adequate as it may seem. Words of attention about altruistic a agent appear from a ambit of voices, from accompaniment and federal agencies and bodies such as Auchter.

“In hindsight, I apparently should accept researched it a little more,” said Auchter. “Here’s area I put my chat of attention out to bodies who are cerebration of altruistic a car, there are a lot of (organizations) out there, and some of these places are alone altruistic a assertive allocation to a charity.”

In October 2019, Auchter donated his 2001 Nissan auto barter to Cars Allowance Veterans, an accouterments he said he begin online accession car donations for Purple Heart-awarded, abandoned and disabled veterans. Cars Allowance Veterans is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit alignment accouterment abutment to groups such as the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Soldiers’ Angels and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Many of the aggregation of organizations accepting cartage for alms are third-party groups. A abstraction by the Government Accountability Office states that, on average, alone 35% of a vehicle’s bulk makes it to the advised charity. Best of the actual funds are acclimated by third-party organizations for administration and advertising. According to a Guidestar.org address from 2015, 15% of the bulk calm from a donated car through Cars Allowance Veterans goes to the accommodating program. The aforementioned address shows apparel such as CarDonations.com at 3% and Cars4DisabledVets.org at 8% are able-bodied beneath the government average.

“(Cars Allowance Veterans) is a little beneath boilerplate on the bulk of money they acknowledgment to the group,” Auchter said, who added he would accord a agent again.

But, abutting time he will do added analysis into the nonprofit accepting his donation.

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One of the oldest car donation organizations additionally ranks as one of the best. The alms babysitter accumulation Alms Navigator called 800charitycars.org as a Four-Star Alms and Guidestar.org letters the Florida-based nonprofit gives 84% of the agent bulk it collects to accommodating programs.

Brian Menzies, CEO and founder, started 800charitycars.org in 1996 to do “something worthwhile” in a “pre-internet” world, he said; thus, the 800 advertence to the toll-free buzz number.

“There was cipher involved, and again everybody got complex in car-donation programs,” said Menzies.

His 800charitycars.org is one of added than 4,300 charities with revenues of added than $100,000 to accept car-donation programs.

“It’s a daydream out there,” Menzies said. “It’s like the wild, agrarian west. There are some (good) bounded programs out there, but we do this nationally.”

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When a alarm comes in from an buyer attractive to accord a affection vehicle, Menzies’ accumulation connects to a bounded alignment to facilitate the auto barter to a ancestors or alone in need. In Pennsylvania, the donated cartage calm by 800charitycars.org are delivered through Ancestors Promise, a New Jersey-based alms allowance abandoned and low-income families accomplish acceptable independence.

“It’s easier to assignment with a bounded accumulation because they accept boots on the ground,” Menzies said. “And best of these cars are accustomed abroad after any fanfare.”

Menzies said about a third of the donated cartage go to deliver and advice with nonprofit’s operating costs and analysis and aliment of donated vehicles.

Dan Lubas, left, of the Shillington Lions Club and Eric Moyer of Moyer Nissan in South Heidelberg Township advance agent donations.  

Dan Lubas, advertisement secretary for the Shillington Lions Club, started an auto-donation affairs out of simple call about 2015. After the afterlife of an earlier member, a bounded ancestors was dispersing of mostly bloom and medical items, which the Lions Club consistently appropriates for those in need, but amid the claimed acreage of this alone was a car.

“That’s how I started the program,” Lubas said. “It’s a baby program, because we are alone aloof one Lions Club aural Berks County.”

Lubas devised a way for those attractive to accord a agent to calmly alteration the car’s account to the Lions Club by partnering with Moyer Nissan (which at the program’s birth was Eisenhauer Nissan) in South Heidelberg Township. After authoritative a fair offer, Lubas said, the banker purchases the car from the owner. The buyer anon signs over the analysis as a donation to the Lions Club.

“We again affair a 501 (c)(3) answer letter,” Lubas said. “If we would booty buying of the car, we would accept to pay fees, accommodate allowance and accept a license. The dealership gets their acceptable activity because they are allowance out the Lions Club.”

All money donated through the auction of a agent go anon to the Lions Club’s efforts in the bounded association through academy programs, medical accessories programs, aliment banks and adversity assistance.

“We advice bodies out, but we don’t advertisement about it,” Lubas said. “One hundred percent of every donation we get goes aback to account the (local) bodies we help.”

PennDOT offers a actuality area on altruistic a agent to a accommodating organization, which divvies procedures into buyer and accommodating alignment responsibilities. Owners charge chase the aforementioned procedures as a being affairs a agent to a banker or clandestine alone back altruistic a vehicle. After demography control of the vehicle, the accommodating alignment charge administer for a title.

Lubas’ arrangement does not crave the nonprofit to booty buying of the vehicle.

Experts admonish those attractive for a tax write-off to apprehend IRS Publication 4303, “A Donor’s Guide to Agent Donations.”

“In 2005 the tax laws changed,” Menzies said. “Donations dropped, and we’ll apparently acquaintance addition bead because of (new) changes in the tax law.”

Contact Michael C. Upton: [email protected]

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