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Salvation Army Vehicle Donation

The Salvation Army is known worldwide for its humanitarian and social services, and is actually one of the largest social service providers in the world. Most of us found something we needed at the Salvation Army thrift store or ordered a pickup for that old couch we finally replaced. We are all familiar with the bell ringing at Christmas time, with their red cauldrons full of change.

The Salvation Army accepts donations of every type of household item you can imagine, from clothes and dishes to furniture and bedding. Of course, they also accept vehicle donations. Otherwise I wouldn't be writing this.

Advancement of the Christian Religion

Founded in 1865, The Salvation Army is an evangelical movement whose faith follows that of the dominant Christian faith.

Their mission is to spread the gospel and alleviate human suffering, but perhaps what we know best about them is their tireless work to improve the lives of those living in poverty or addiction, as well as their services to veterans and assistance in finding missing family members. .

The Salvation Army also provides prison ministries, services to the elderly, hunger relief, camps and recreation for at-risk youth, and works to eradicate human trafficking.

The Salvation Army at Goodstar

Whenever you're considering donating goods, services, time or money to a charity, it's best to save yourself the potential pain and do your research on the charity to make sure it's legitimate and effective.

Effective charities are those that return 75 percent or more of their income to their programs, with the remaining 25 percent split between administrative and fundraising expenses.

Discovering this information is a piece of cake for Guidestar, a nonprofit organization that collects financial and other information about every charity registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. You can view a charity's IRS Form 990, view its financial statements, view board member information, and get outside perspectives on the charity's impact.

According to Part IX of the 2013 IRS Form 990, the Salvation Army is a highly qualified charity. In 2013:

Total costs are $18,072,423.
94 percent, or more than $16 million, went to programming.
Only 5% went to cover administrative costs.
A scant 1 percent went to fundraising.
Salvation Army vehicle donation program

Most charities use an intermediary third party to handle their vehicle donations because nonprofits typically don't have the manpower or financial resources to do it themselves. Sometimes the broker is a reputable and decent business or non-profit organization that passes most of the net income to the charity, but others are either very inefficient or downright sleazy and will earn as much as 90 percent of the net income, leaving the charity with pennies on the dollar. Here's how to break it all down:

Highly satisfactory intermediaries transfer 75 percent or more of net income to the charity.
Fairly satisfactory brokers transfer 60 to 74 percent of net income.
Somewhat unsatisfactory brokers pass on 50 to 59 percent of net income.
Mediators who are not fully satisfactory transfer less than 50 percent of net income to the charity.
But guess what? The Salvation Army does not use a middleman! They do it all by themselves! Just as they drive around town in their famous vans taking your household goods, they seem to do the same with your car.

This information was not on their website, so I called the organization. According to Bert, the Salvation Army itself comes and picks up your car, takes it to auction, sells it, pays the auction house its share, and keeps 100 percent of the net proceeds.

This is a very efficient way for a highly efficient charity to process car donations!

Salvation Army Vehicle Donation Program Summary

If you're a Salvation Army fan (and who isn't?), feel free to donate your car to them. They handle all the details of the donation themselves and get all the net proceeds instead of the 75 percent (probably much lower) they would get if they had to pay an intermediary fee.

The Salvation Army's response to epidemic poverty

The effects of the pandemic across the country have prompted millions of Americans to make difficult decisions among their needs. Often, this is a choice between having a 'home' and being 'homeless'. This puts the Salvation Army at the forefront of the response to the poverty pandemic.