1-800-CharityCars, a nationwide car donation/distribution charity, depends on the generosity of the donating public to carry out our organization’s main focus of providing free donated vehicles to struggling families, in an effort to assist them in their transition from dependency to self-sufficiency. We know firsthand the impact that the monetary and vehicle donations we receive will make in the lives of people in need and the importance of charitable giving for all upstanding Charities that make a difference by giving people in need a helping hand. It is through the kindness of donors who are willing to give, that Charities can offer assistance to those in need.
People are hesitant to give because of the fear that they may be donating to an illegitimate charity. We want to help you avoid giving your time, money and/or belongings to bad charities by offering you the following tips for finding a reputable charity:
- Know who you’re dealing with
If you decide to donate to any charity, be sure you know who you’re dealing with. If they are not an organization you are familiar with, make sure to check them out. Find out who they are, what their mission statement is, how long they have been in existence, verify their Non Profit status, visit their website(s) and find out what their program(s) offer and who they assist specifically. This information should be accessible for any reputable charity.
- Ask them questions
It is mandated by law that Charities must provide specific details about their program guidelines and expenses. You have every right to question a Charity before making a donation. Ask the charity things like: where your donation will go, who your donations will help, how many people they helped in the previous year and if your contribution is tax deductible. As the philosopher Sir Francis Bacon once said “Knowledge is power.” Ask the questions and get the answers you need. This gives you the power to make sure your donation is going to a reputable charity who will use it in the way you wish.
- Google search the charity
Perform a Google search by entering the Charity’s name and see what can you find. The amount of information that is readily available on the internet is astounding and Google makes it simple to find the information you need. In just a few minutes and a few clicks, you will have an abundance of information at your fingertips and will be able to ascertain if it is a reputable charity is worthy of your donation.
- Check their IRS form 990
The IRS requires all charities in the United States to file a form 990. This form contains information including, but not limited to, how much income they received and where it came from, a breakdown of their total expenses, net assets, types of programs they run and how they spend their money. You can get an overall look at the organization’s financial standing and determine if their allocation of funds is directly in alignment with their stated mission, who and/or what they support, their commitment to best practices, and a good feel of whether or not they are a reputable charity.
- Follow your own intuition
If you get the feeling in your stomach that something just does not feel right, then follow your intuition. If you’re not confident about the Charity or feel any apprehension, then it is probably best to just move on to another Charity. Your decision to help someone in need and provide to any charity, such as a car donation, should not be clouded by any unsettling feelings. Giving to help others should make you feel a sense of joy not uncertainty.
Be sure to take the time to look into who you’re going to be making a charitable contribution to. Taking a little time to evaluate a Charity can help safeguard your donations and make sure they are put to good use by a reputable charity and in the manner you wish them to be used. 1-800-Charity Cars has live operators available 7 days a week; you can contact us at 1-800-242-7489 and we will be more than happy to help answer any questions or concerns that you may have when you are planning charitable giving.
You can help change the lives of struggling families by making monetary donations or by making a car donation to charity. 1-800-Charity Cars accepts vehicle donations throughout the entire United States, including New Jersey and Illinois; visit our online car donation form to donate online or call 1-800-242-7489 to make a tax deductible car donation today. Make your donation to a reputable charity by or on December 31st to get a 2013 tax deduction.