How Do I Verify A Charity’s Merit?

Posted on: December 31st, 2012

Question: I want to donate my car, but I want to be sure that the charity won’t use the money for something frivolous. Is there a way for me to measure a charity’s merit? —Mark H., Prineville, OR

Answer: Mark, we understand your concern. No one wants to donate a car to a charity and wonder if the money will be used to support the charity’s mission, or for managers’ salaries or holiday parties. www.charitynavigator.org is a widely respected resource for viewing the ratings and reviews of many larger charities. They rate charities based on a system that appraises financial practices as well as accountability and transparency to donors. They even have “user” reviews if you’d like to read what individuals have to say about the charity.

www.charitywatch.org, maintained by the American Institute of Philanthropy, is another charity rating resource; it rates fewer charities, but provides an in-depth look at the financial practices of those charities.

You can often explore small local charities by calling their offices for information or visiting one of their events. Look for strong organization, careful financial reporting and effectiveness in delivering their services to those in need. For example, you might ask the charity’s representative for specific information such as how many individuals were served annually or what the major program accomplishments were during the past year.

Once you have done your research and are satisfied that the charity is worthwhile, visit our website and fill out the short car donation form. We’ll take care of the rest! Please contact us at 866-697-0697 if you have any questions regarding your car donation.

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