Authentic Charity for donationing car to breast cancer
August 5, 2009 10:26 PM   Subscribe

I want to donate my car to a charity, specifically for breast cancer, how do a choose and how do i know they are for real?

I want your help to find a authentic charity for breast cancer that i can donate my car to...I need your advice and if you have or know someone that has done so I want to know how to go about it. It needs to be in Los Angeles for that is our current location...thanks!
posted by matthelm to Human Relations (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm also in L.A.--I donated mine to Susan G. Komen Foundation about 7 or 8 years ago. What happened was that a flatbed from a wrecking company came to pick it up, and they are the ones who deal with the actual car, but I got a notice from the actual charity stating that they had received the donation.
posted by so_gracefully at 10:40 PM on August 5, 2009

The American Cancer Society has its Cars for a Cure campaign.
posted by bunny hugger at 6:09 AM on August 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

For real? Look them up at Charity Navigator.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:58 AM on August 6, 2009

I worked for a year for a company that handled car donations. Yes, it is for real, but no, it's not as great as you might hope. Charities contract out with middleman type companies, who contract out with auction houses, who contract out with tow vendors, who come pick up your car. Yes, the chain is that convoluted, and yes, everyone gets a piece of the pie. Your vehicle is picked up, auctioned off, and the proceeds are split among the auction house, the middleman, and the charity.

Every charity has a different contract as far as how much of the proceeds they receive. Offhand, I remember Salvation Army receiving the biggest profit and Family Care Foundation receiving the lowest, with everyone else somewhere in between. Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society are two of the charities listed above, and yes, we worked with them.

Also, there's one other wrench in the system. If your car is in quite poor condition, it will be classified as junk, and sold for a flat fee. In that case, the charity usually only receives $50-75. With the company I worked for, we auctioned these cars anyway instead of junking them, and this is often where we received the biggest profit. (YES, it is shady.)

No matter whether your car is classified as junk or sold at auction (you will not be informed which of these things happens), you will receive a tax-deductible receipt for $500. IF the vehicle sells at auction for MORE than $500, you will receive a form called at 1098c (I believe -- it has been a while and I could be wrong), which allows you to claim the difference on your taxes. You will not get screwed out of the difference if it actually does sell for over $500, these things are audited and regulated. However, it is rare that donated cars, even in pretty good condition, sell for over $500 at auction.

In the past, they allowed you to claim Blue Book value for the vehicle on your taxes. They DO NOT allow this anymore, because people were donated stupid things such as just a chassis or engine block, saying what type of car it came from, and claiming the full amount. Now, you are only guaranteed $500, but like I said, if it sells for more than that, you will be able to claim the full amount it sold for. If it sells for less or is junked, you will still be able to claim $500.

If you have any other questions, please let me know, and I will do my best to answer them.
posted by srrh at 7:32 AM on August 6, 2009

The Breast Cancer Network of Strength is an awesome group that has a 24-hour support hotline for women with breast cancer that is staffed by actual survivors who are peer counselors. I think in some cases they also give out donated wigs and breast prostheses to women in need. They take vehicle donations.
posted by ishotjr at 4:05 PM on August 6, 2009

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