Vehicle-Donation Efforts Migrate Online
For more than 20 years, Volunteers of America has operated a donation program for automobiles, boats and recreational vehicles with its local chapters and participating 501(c)(3) organizations. Recently, the spiritually based social-services charity has taken its successful turnkey vehicle-donation program online — and in a big way.
Historically, VOA’s Charity Connection program took care of all the messy details of gifting an automobile: The donor notifies VOA of the donation; VOA arranges for pickup of the donated vehicle and instruments to accept title; VOA then provides the donor and participating charity with receipt of the vehicle and assumes responsibility for its transportation, storage and sale; the title is not transferred until the vehicle is sold; and all administrative tasks are handled by VOA.
Now, VOA has developed a set of online tools for participating charities to leverage when communicating with potential vehicle donors.
“We provide charities with all the materials needed to promote their program online, and actually create and maintain a customized Web site for them, using their brand and messaging,” says Scott Williamson, partnership marketing manager for VOA.
auctioned off for charity. According to Williamson, a VOA Vehicle Donation Processing Center staff member will call the donor directly and make arrangements for the vehicle, keys and title to be picked up. The donated vehicle is then sold at a wholesale or public auction, with the net sales proceeds (vehicle sales price, less a towing fee, an auction house fee and a $75 processing fee) split evenly between the charity partner and VOA.
One organization that has leveraged VOA’s services is Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Revenue generated from the sale of donated vehicles is distributed to the charity partner on a monthly basis, with a sales report detailing each transaction.
“The idea is to make the process of donating a vehicle as transparent as possible,” Williamson says. “An organization’s donors might not necessarily care that their charity is partnered with us. It’s the charity’s program, the charity’s site.”