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How To Get a A Dealer To Donate A Car To Your Charity

In the accompanying image, professional boxer Sugar Shane Mosley hands over the keys to a 2012 Toyota Corolla to Imasonghe Payton Thompson, M.D and her husband Bryan.

Mosley’s nonprofit Diamond Love Foundation recently conducted a raffle to give away the Toyota to a lucky winner. The newlyweds became the recipients of the new Toyota donated by Claremont Toyota, of Claremont California. Claremont Toyota  donates more than 10 vehicles a year to nonprofits. How can you get a dealer to donate a vehicle to your nonprofit? The name recognition of Sugar Shane Mosley may have helped to promote the dealer, but it was also a good cause and the dealer was able to write it off as a charitable donation. So why aren’t  more auto dealers donating vehicles and how can you convince a local dealer to donate a car for your cause?

The first thing you must know is that local car dealership usually only donate to nonprofit organizations. The dealer gets a tax deduction and you get to promote your organization and raise funds. If you are an individual that needs a vehicle donation,  you may still be able to work through a nonprofit if you need transportation. Here are a few points to remember to understand if you or your nonprofit qualities:

If You are a Nonprofit Charity

Start by contacting a local car dealership to find out if it has a car donation program. Get the name and number of the person in charge of charitable donations to further discuss your request. Find out what the procedures are for obtaining a donated vehicle. Take notes on the process so you don't miss any requested information.

Follow the dealership's procedures for making a car donation request if you are a nonprofit charity. Typically, this will include starting the process by writing a letter detailing your request with information as to what type of vehicle you need, what the car will be used for and how it will benefit the local community. You should also include how the donation will be promoted in the media and to the community. A great marketing program will convince the dealer that its donation may increase sales.

Once you submit the letter, follow up with a phone call within a week to further discuss your request. Offer to answer any questions the car dealership has. If you are turned down for the car donation, do ask what the deciding factors where in the decision. Sometimes car dealerships just cannot afford to make such a large donation. However, if there were other factors involved, knowing this may help you with getting a car donation in the future.

If You are an Individual

Car dealerships will rarely donate a car directly to an individual. But if you have a severe need, you may be able to get assistance from the auto dealership by involving yourself with a nonprofit organization. Many nonprofit charities, such as those that work with people with disabilities, abuse victims, the homeless and military families, have charity car donation programs that work with dealerships to get donated vehicles for individuals. Find out which local nonprofit charities the car dealership would be willing to donate a car to, or has donated a vehicle to in the past, if you are not a nonprofit organization. Then work with that nonprofit charity, to obtain a donated vehicle.

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