Archive for the ‘Charities’ Category

Making Sure Your Car Is Ready For Winter

Friday, December 31st, 2010

When winter hits, many people think of winterizing their houses, but winterizing their car is far from their minds. Just how do you make sure your car is ready for winter? Depending on where you live, the snow is probably already there, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late. If you haven’t prepared your car, then there is no better time like the present.

When winterizing your car, always check your tires to make sure the tread is still good and that the tire pressure is correct. Not only will this help you save on gas, it will help you when or if you ever encounter any snow or ice. Check the fluids in your car to make sure there is enough antifreeze and window washer fluid, which will certainly come in handy when the dirty snow gets on your windshield. Have your battery, lights, defroster, brakes, heater, belts and hoses checked by a professional to make sure your car is functioning properly.

If you live in (or are travelling to) an area where you might get snowed in, make sure that you put emergency materials in your trunk, including a blanket and first aid kit. It’s also a good idea to put some kitty litter and a shovel back there in case you slip off the road and you need some extra help in getting out of your situation.

If you have checked everything on your car, and you still aren’t sure whether your car will make it to where you need to go, then you might want to consider donating your car to charity. It is too late to get a tax deduction for 2010, but if you need a new car anyway, then you can donate your car in 2011 and get the tax benefits then. Charities always can use the help, no matter the time of year, so if your car can’t take the cold, then make sure it goes to a good cause.

Dangerous Holiday Travelling – And How to Avoid It With A Car Donation

Friday, December 17th, 2010

It is the time of year when many people hit the roads to see family and travel for holiday vacation. The road conditions are often poor, as the winter weather has taken its toll on the roads, and sometimes snow plows just can’t keep up. If you are planning on travelling this season, make sure your car is in the very best condition. With bad roads, an older car in bad shape has much higher odds of getting in an accident. If you are afraid your car might not make the trip, then now is a perfect time to donate a car to charity and pick out something new for yourself.

There are usually many different holiday sales going on at car dealerships, and the deadline for receiving a car donation tax donation for 2010 on your used car is quickly approaching. If you donate a car to charity before the end of the year, you can get a refund for 2010, but if you wait until the new year, then you will have to wait on your tax deduction as well.

With the combination of the government deadline and the bad roads, now is the time to consider whether or not your car is safe for you and your family. No matter the condition of your car, we can always accept your car donation, even if it no longer drives. This holiday season, you can end up with a little extra cash in your pocket because of your gift, instead of the other way around.

Countdown to Final 2010 Car Donation Tax Deductions

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The year is quickly winding down. The holiday season is here, and we are all extremely busy with various commitments and activities. Before you know it, the year will be over and you may have missed your chance to donate a car to charity. This, of course, means you may have also missed your chance to take a sizeable tax deduction. If you get everything in order now, though, you can do some good for some worthy and needy organizations, and still make sure you can claim the proper deduction on this year’s returns.

December 31 is the cutoff day for getting a car donation tax deduction this year. Time may be running out, but if you start getting ready now, you can still make sure that the entire process goes smoothly.

Starting the Process

The holidays are always really busy, but if you take the time to get everything in order, you won’t run into any snags at the last minute. We previously covered some of the IRS tips for making charitable donations, and this is a great place to get started.

In basic terms, you need to get all your documentation in order and ready to go. You are going to have to itemize the contribution on Form 1040, Schedule A, and you will be required to keep records of donation and the amount you received. Keep these documents safe, because even though your car donation has to be made by the end of the year, you may not actually file your returns until next April. If you lose those documents between now and then, you could be in for some hard times down the road.

Planning Ahead

With only days left before the end of the year, you have to plan ahead to get the most out of donating a car. It could take some time to get an appraisal if you have a particularly valuable car, or the tow services might be backed up because you’re not the only one trying to get a last minute donation in before the end of the year. Now is the time to make your donations. There are many worthy causes out there that need your help, and if you want to maximize your returns, be sure to get it done as fast as you can.

It’s a Tough Time for Car Donation Nonprofits

Monday, December 6th, 2010

But, according to a study done by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, things are starting to get a little better. This report showed that about a third of the charities in America had an increase in donations throughout the first nine months of 2010. Unfortunately, this increase hasn’t been enough to keep up with the demand for charitable services.

Just like many other industries, nonprofit companies have been hit hard by the recession. They rely on the charity of others to generate their operational budgets, and when economic times are tough, people are less likely to make a donation. Of course, when economic times are tough, there is usually more unemployment and increasing need for the services these nonprofit organizations provide.

Last year was one of the hardest ones in a long time. Our giving was at the lowest it had been since 1956. This can be very troubling for both the nonprofit organizations and the people who rely on their services. And that is why this slight increase in giving has been viewed by some as a positive sign for the future.

Despite the increase in car donations, worthy nonprofit organizations always need more. There might be some positive signs in the economy, but that doesn’t mean everyone suddenly has more money that they can part with. Things still seem a little shaky, and it’s this kind of uncertainty that makes people hesitate about making charitable donations.

This is where donating a car to charity can make a real difference. You don’t always have to donate cash when you are looking for ways to help these important organizations. If you have a vehicle that has reached the end of its useful life, or you don’t think you’d get much for it on a trade it, you can always donate a car for a tax deduction and help this trend continue.

Car Donations Decline in a Bad Economy

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

As individuals, we’ve all been hit by the bad economy. In economies like this, people are inclined to hold onto everything they have, spend less, and unfortunately, give less. Even now that it is recovering, people are slow to donate cars to charity.

These charities rely on the generosity of others, and cannot function without the support (financial and otherwise) given by people who care. When it comes to car donations, more people are disposed to wait and hang onto their old cars, either because they do not have the extra money to purchase a new car or because they hope to get more money from selling their old car in a better economy.

Experts say this decline is only to be expected, but the truth of the matter is that the charities are not able to help as many people as they have in the past, even though there is a higher need for it now in a bad economy. Though people are struggling and need the help of these charities, their hands are tied without the support of individuals like yourself.

Adding to the decline of the economy, fewer people are donating cars because of the changes to the IRS policies. Many people assume that the process is now too difficult to make it worth it, but car donations are still easy if you choose the right organization to help you through the process—every step of the way.

If you are interested in donating a car to charity, there is no better time like the present. Make a difference and feel the warmth that comes from doing something for someone in need.

To Haggle or to Donate: This is the Question

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

When it’s time to get rid of your old car, there are a few options available to you. For example, you could make a car donation, or you could sell it yourself and try to make some money from it. Unfortunately, this means you are opening your door to the hagglers – those people who only see this as an opportunity to exercise their skills and get the best deal possible. And, of course, the best deal for them means less profit for you.

The Haggler Mentality

So you’ve decided to sell your car yourself, and your first customer shows up at your door to inspect the vehicle. This is fine, you’re thinking, because you haven’t noticed the glint in his or her eye. You don’t realize that the haggler is more interested in getting a good deal than a good car.

The Haggler hasn’t come to your house to see if they like your car, or if it is as reliable as you say. They are here to talk down your price. They have a strategy, and they look forward to the experience of telling their friends how much of a discount you gave them.

They will have done their research, and they will know exactly what your car should be worth. They will plan for what they consider a great deal, good deal, and mediocre deal, and if you can’t come to an agreement that is above what they consider mediocre, they will probably walk away. You might even get treated to a little bit of a show, as they make it clear that they are more than willing to walk away from their offer if you don’t meet their price.

Unless you have your own set of haggling skills, this can be a tiresome practice that won’t do anything but use up your time and drain your profits.

The Charitable Mentality

There are a lot of reasons someone might choose to donate a car to charity instead. The most obvious reason, though, is the opportunity to do something good for an organization that relies on the generosity of others.

Donating to a charity is also a very convenient way to get rid of that old car without getting caught up in the long, drawn-out process of selling it on your own. It won’t matter what condition it’s in, you can still make a donation to help a worthy organization, and you can still receive some financial benefits from the allowable tax deduction.

Car Donation Charity Founder Admits to Fraud

Monday, August 16th, 2010

After pocketing over $2 million from car donations, Shoba Bakhsh, founder of “Hope for the Disabled Kids, Inc.,” has plead guilty on the charges placed against her. This is in line with the State Attorney General’s efforts to crack down on fraudulent car donation charities.

Bakhsh was charged with lying to donors and misusing the funds for her own family and uses. Since the lawsuit, her company has been shut down. In the time it was operating, it accepted thousands of cars generating over 2 million dollars. The company operated eight years, and not a penny was spent on the charitable organizations it claimed to represent for the last two. Although, because Bakhsh destroyed all the records from the previous years, there is no telling if anything ever went to the charities.

As Attorney General Cuomo stated, “This individual manipulated donors and exploited children with serious medical needs in order to enrich herself and her family. As a result of her actions, millions of dollars that should have gone to help disabled children were instead spent on department store bills and real estate. As our investigation continues, my office encourages New Yorkers to be generous and informed donors.”

When you donate a car to charity, do yourself a favor and do the research. You want to make sure your money goes to good use, and the one sure way to do that is to pick a great company to complete the transaction for you.