Thinking about donating your car for charity in California? We have come up with top 10 tips that you can make use of.
Before you donate your car to charity or to anybody else, it is always better to know about some pitfalls. If you take some time out and do your homework properly before you donate your car, you can make sure your donation will have a complete impact.
The most important thing that you need to do when donating your car in California is that you need to pick a charity that you think is worth the cause. You can choose a charity either by talking to your friends and see if they have ever donated a car in California to a charity or you can take a look at the past performances of several charities and choose the one you feel is the most deserving.
Then, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. We have made a list of top 10 things that you must consider when donating a car in California. Once you keep the following points in perspective, you will never regret your donation.
Always consider several options
It is never okay to rush into making a decision. You are allowed to take some time and you are allowed to consider several charities before you choose the one you are going to donate to.
California has numerous charitable organizations. Once you start looking, you will find that there are plenty of people out in the world doing good for others. Visit different organizations and then choose the trust you feel is the most deserving one.
You should also take a look at the local charitable organizations and see if they have a vehicle donation program before going ahead with finding an exclusive charity. It will also ease your trouble of bringing the car to a far off place.
Beware of middlemen intermediaries
We always suggest that you donate your car directly to the organization instead of sending it to a middleman. They are trustworthy and most of the time, these middleman sell the vehicle and take the money into their own pockets.
Always get yourself in association with the charitable organization. This way, you will know that your donation is going to the right place and nobody will take advantage of your good heart. Also, you need to beware of for-profits organizations. These type of organizations sell stuff and say a part of it is going to the charity but it really doesn’t.
So, as suggested, always get in direct contact with a charitable organization that offers a vehicle donation program.
Always make sure that it is a non-profitable organization
Never take their word for it and do your research thoroughly.
Once you have chosen an organization, you need to make sure that you “non-profit” charity is a 501 (c)(3) Is a charity claiming non-profit status?
Find out for sure, and be sure to confirm that the organization’s status is a 501 (c) (3) organization with public charity status. You can do so by requesting a copy of the charity’s Letter of Determination from the Internal Revenue Service for your own files confirming its tax exempt status.
Speak in person
Always meet the representative of a charitable organization in person. Never commit your dealings over the phone and reach out to them physically.
Face to face meeting will give you the idea of how honest an organization is and how dedicated the team of representatives is to the cause. Also, ask them what your responsibilities are as a donor. Always give your car title on hand as well. Before you make the donation, you need to clear any lienholders and also make sure that your certificate of title is available with your name on it.
Always drive your car to the organization
Never hire a towing service or pickup trailers when you are donating your car to a charity.
The money you will spend on pickup trailers or towing vehicles could be put to better use by giving that to charity. Instead, drive your vehicle yourself to the organization. It will leave a good impact on the charitable organization and you will also know that you have done the right thing.
Another thing that you must keep in mind is that keeping the documents of the vehicle with you and giving them to the organization for authentication.
Get your car serviced properly
Always get your car properly services before you donate it to the organization. You don’t want to set a wrong example or make a bad impression of yourself.
It always looks respectful that you give donation in the best of form. If your car has any dent, make sure it has been well taken care of. If you think the oil needs to be changes, make sure you get it changed before you drop it off. You need to ensure that you provide maximum comfort to the people you are donating your car to.
Complete the paperwork
Another thing that you need to ensure is that you complete all the paperwork correctly and sign off the car to the charity.
You need to formally sign that you are giving your car away as a donation and the charity organization knows about it. If an organization doesn’t insist you for paperwork, beware. Choose another organization and always make the donation in a written form as a record.
One thing we need to tell you that if you do not officially transfer the title of your car to the charitable organization, you will be held responsible for any illegal activity done through your car. So it is better to close that end for good.
Always take pictures
Never giveaway your car without taking proper pictures of it.
This is another way to keep a record regarding the condition of your car in which you donated it to the organization. This will also help you confirm its true value and will keep a record of all the receipts regarding the improvements you got done to your car.
Once you have donated your car, keeping an insurance policy will be no good to you.
Cancel the insurance policy if you have one because you no longer need an insurance coverage. Another added bonus of this is that you may even get your insurance fee back, isn’t that worth it?
Always get a sign from the receiver
Once you have donated your car, make sure you get the sign from the receiver who has taken into possession. Also, ask the organization to keep a proper record of the car such as its model, year, make, mileage, VIN, title number, license plate number and so on.
Also, ask them what will happen to your car from now on as in if it will be sold or would be contributed to a beneficiary. It is important to know about the next steps.
So, this is how you donate your car in California. You need to keep a proper record of everything and make sure you have chosen a worthy organization.
If you have any questions in this regard, feel free to let us know.