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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I would like to organize the donation of a car to a non-profit organization. The organization is a wonderful animal rescue in East Hampton dedicated to caring for abandoned and injured animals. Because many feral animals are captured, spayed/neutered, returned to the wild, and then fed everyday, there is a need for a working vehicle for the volunteers.

I was wondering what the best way to donate a car is? Should I just organize a fundraiser and then buy a used car with the proceeds for the organization? Or are there reputable car donation organizations I could contact? Or should I even contact car dealers to see if they might help? I would love to know what the best way is to get a functional car for the least amount of money, so that any amount raised in excess could be donated for food and vet bills.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Sophia, I will ask some of my dog shelter fundraiser friends if they have any thoughts or advice. I know their first question will be "is this shelter 501(c)". Do you know if the shelter has, or is in the process of getting, their federal non-profit status?

My first thought would be to drum up some interest among your friends in the Hamptons -- maybe try to organize a small social event (golf or tennis tournament; sunset gathering for wine & cheese; etc.). I'm always amazed at who knows who and who knows what and what starts as a tiny seed of an idea may blossom into finding someone with a car dealership willing to donate a car. And if the shelter is really lucky they might find an accountant to help with tax stuff and a lawyer to advise on legal stuff, too.

Good luck and I will let you know if I get any good avice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks, Mary. I need all the advice I can get in trying to help this great organization. It's called Elsa's Ark. It's very well known in the Hamptons, and it is a 501c(3) organization. I would like to help beyond just the donations which I am already giving.

I will definitely try to drum up support anywhere, in the city or in East Hampton. The founder Pat is an angel on earth, to put it mildly. She does not take salary and is way overworked and under-resourced. She herself feeds hundreds of abandoned and hungry animals everyday. I specifically wanted to organize the donation of a car because last week during the tropical storm, she was driving from feeding station to feeding station while gallons of rain poured down on her INSIDE her car.

It is true what is said about the "Hidden Hamptons," a side of the Hamptons that is not seen on TV or in the glossy magazines. Believe or not, people buy cute bunnies for their kids for Easter and then "set them free" a couple months after. As well, many families adopt a cute "kitten" during the summer and suddenly realize they don't have space for them in their NYC apartments once fall comes around. I'm sure my cat was abandoned by such a family as she appeared at my door step right after Labor Day..

In any case, if anyone has experience with car donations...please let me know! That vehicle Pat is driving around is dangerous, and if something happens to her, most of the abandoned animals in the Hamptons will go hungry!

Here's the mission statement
Elsa's Ark, Inc. was formed in an effort to deal with the "Hidden Hamptons," where animals are abandoned, abused, and left to die. We are a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization focusing on: 1. The rescue, rehabilitation and home placement of animals who would not be accepted into mainstream adoption programs because of age, health or temperament. 2. The spaying/neutering, safety, feeding and medical maintenance of stray animals in our community. 3. Providing care, comfort and sanctuary to elderly and infirm animals. We have rescued dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and chickens. Care for these creatures is provided in our homes as we have no shelter.
Description

Elsa's Ark, Inc. provides a free/low-cost spay/neuter program for dogs, cats and rabbits; we provide trap-spay/neuter-taming and returning programs; we build and distribute feral cat shelters and dog houses; we coordinate & network with other animal rescue groups, including wildlife; we provide long and short-term foster care for animals in our homes (we have no shelter but are working towards this goal) as well as providing hospice/veterinarian superivsed medical care; we tame feral cats and adopt our animals out; we do take FIV/Leukemia positive cats/kittens.
 

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Sophia - I don't know about all those car donation things I read and hear on the radio. I don't tend to trust them. It was like when I gave beautiful clothes to organizations and then found out that they sell it as rags to other countries and just make money from it. I changed charities after that so that people directly got the clothes and goods.
I would think a fundraiser in the Hamptons would probably be great and get a lot of support. Maybe donations for a silent auction or raffle. And maybe someone out there who has an extra car might think of donating it. How about an article about the need in Dan's Papers or some other newspaper out there?
 

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Sounds like you are pursuing a good idea. I have no idea on how to help you, but many non-profits accept cars these days. Perhaps you can speak to someone in charge of another non-profit. Perhaps a van or a small bus would work well.

I was involved with a rescue that had a school bus donated to them. They would fill it up with the rescues, and park it in a shopping area on adoption day. It worked for me, as I ended up fostering a toy poodle one day!
 
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