Did you know that you can donate an unneeded car to the Fellowship? These donations can be counted as part of your annual pledge or be a separate donation. We recommend CarsForCharity.net as an intermediary. [Please note that the details of websites are subject to change at any time.]
How We Donated an Old Car to the Fellowship
By Wayne and Chris Itano
In Summer 2012 our younger daughter Michelle moved, with her husband Kevin, to Rockefeller University to start a postdoc job. Since they no longer needed a car and couldn’t afford to park it in Manhattan anyway, we bought it from her. Michelle and Kevin drove out from North Carolina, dropping off the dog in Arkansas with his parents and the car and two cats with us. They assured us that they would come back for the cats when they had a place where they could keep them.
This left us with a 1995 Toyota 4Runner with 125,000 miles that we no longer needed. We could have sold it ourselves, but that can be quite a hassle, so we decided to save the trouble and donate it for the benefit of the Fellowship. Besides, we had just been told that it needed $900 of work to replace a rusted-out exhaust system, not to mention a cracked windshield which was not covered by our insurance.
On the advice of Phil Ferrante-Rosebury, who had used them before, we went through Cars for Charity, Inc., which is a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
BVUUF is not yet listed on their website, so you have to put in the contact information yourself. First, go to the home page (http://carsforcharity.net). (Note the .net, not .com, and note that there are organizations with similar names, like Cars4Charity.com or VehiclesForCharity.org.) Click on “Donor Instruction” on the left side of the page. Click on the highlighted link that says “Donor Information.” This takes you to a page titled “Vehicle Donation Form.” At the line labeled “Designated Non-Profit” scroll down to the line “My NonProfit is not on the List – Enter the Info” and click on it. Fill out the boxes in the form with the name (Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship), phone number (303-665-4280), and address (1241 Ceres Drive, Lafayette, CO 80026). Fill in the rest of the form with your own contact information, description of the car, and so on. Click on “Submit.” If you prefer, you can print out a form, fill it out, and mail it in.
Within a few days after submitting the web form, we received a phone call and arranged for the pickup. Since it wasn’t convenient for us to be around when they could next come to pick it up, we hid the key under the floor mat, left the signed title in the glove compartment, and asked them to remove the license plates and leave them under our door mat. They came and towed the car, left the license plates, and left a receipt.
After about four weeks we received a letter stating that the car had sold at auction for $1800. After checking with the BVUUF treasurer, we found that the Fellowship had received a check for $1633. The difference, $167, is the amount Cars for Charity retained for providing the service. This is quite good. There are other organizations that take a much bigger “cut.” We could deduct the entire $1800 on our taxes. Cars for Charity sent the IRS Form 1098C, which we needed to document the contribution.
The transaction was very simple and hassle-free. We could have designated the contribution to be part of our pledge, but since we hadn’t been expecting this when we made the pledge we decided to make it an extra contribution.