February 29, 2016
Author: Joe Hearn
No matter how much we may care about curing cancer, eliminating poverty or ending homelessness, if there are no funds, no good work will be done. Charitable organizations know the only way to tackle the massive issues that plague the world today is to scale up. The organization must be big enough, be well known enough and powerful enough to impact our largest social challenges. But as any business owner knows, you need to invest in order to grow a business. That is where the problem lies for fundraisers.
In a bad year, when donations are down, you’re expected to raise even more revenue with an even smaller budget and even fewer resources. That’s why vehicle donation could be a great way for you to increase revenue in a very cost effective way.
You may be thinking: “A car donation program sounds complicated and costly.” Well it can be. But just like any other fundraising program, the key is to partner with proven experts who will help you navigate the potential pitfalls without breaking the bank.
With over 45 years of experience in vehicle recycling, Car Donation Wizard (powered by Advanced Remarketing Services) has consistently returned 80% of the gross value of every vehicle back to our non-profit partners. Our top charity partners have seen an amazing 40% year over year growth in revenue. We make launching a vehicle donation program easy, managing all the details for a simple per vehicle cost that is easy to track. Vehicle donation is a great opportunity that every non-profit should consider.
Donors are looking for you!
Every year thousands of cars end up in a junkyard, landfill or scrapyard. A record 17 million new cars, trucks and SUVs were sold in the U.S. in 2015.[i] Every new vehicle represents another car that the owner is selling or replacing. Each one of those could mean another auto donation for your charitable organization and more money funding your mission.
The great thing about vehicle donation is that there’s a large market of people who want to donate their cars. They’re just looking for the right charity to give it to. When a person has a clunker in their driveway, or are faced with the burden of selling a car they don’t need, they begin to search for ways to donate their cars. Every month there are over 165,000 searches on Google for “car donations” and other similar keywords. For a charity with a vehicle donation program this means that instead of trying to convince people to donate, donors are looking for you. The question is: Are they finding your charity or someone else?
Realizing that people are looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of old vehicles, Advanced Remarketing Services created CarDonationWizard.com which provides a portal for consumers to:
- Find a charity worthy of their auto donation
- Make a single phone call or fill out an online form
- Get their vehicle picked up
For you, the charity, CarDonationWizard.com does much more. For years the content on the portal has been optimized to drive search traffic and now it’s consistently in the top 10 for “car donation” search terms on Google. That means less of your fundraising budget is spent in building awareness for your car donation program. Spending less on advertising is one way that we keep fundraising costs low and return 80% of the vehicle’s value back to you.
“For years we ran our own car donation program and had hired staff that managed it. Unfortunately during the economic downturn we realized that we couldn’t afford to continue the program. Frankly, it did not have a good cost per dollar raised (CPDR) and was too difficult to manage. Soon thereafter we contracted with Car Donation Wizard and relaunched our vehicle donation program with them as a pilot. They managed all the details. For a minimal per vehicle cost we were able to manage the program with a single staff person, me. During the worst of the economic downturn this program kept beating all of our year over year projections at a lower expense ratio than our direct response program, our peer to peer fundraising events and our major gift programs. To me, a car donation program just makes good sense.”
Director of Income Development at a prominent national cancer organization.
Do It Yourself?
Recognizing the immense potential for revenue in vehicle and auto donations, many charities have chosen to manage their own car donation programs. This entails hiring staff to manage vehicles being donated, hiring a third-party towing company or wrecking yard to pick up those vehicles and then paying to have the cars stored until they can be sold at auction or broken down for parts. This means salary and benefit costs, vendor costs, storage costs and much more. Each of these costs chips away at the value of the donated vehicle, until in the end, your fundraising expenditures have just about eaten away all of the value of the donation.
On the other hand, Car Donation Wizard manages all those pieces not just for you but for dozens of other charities like the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, ASPCA and the March of Dimes. Managing all of these services, for thousands of car donations, reduces the cost to you. In addition, our intimate knowledge of the vehicle recycling and the auto auction industries helps get the most value out of each vehicle donated, returning 80% of the value of the vehicle back to you.
We send all donation receipts, handle all customer calls, and provide you with all the donor contact information so that you can continue to grow your relationship with your donor. Every step of the process is completely transparent. Every month you will receive a detailed report telling you exactly what vehicle was donated, its gross value, and the exact costs incurred in selling or recycling that vehicle.
Some auction companies run their own vehicle donation programs and then charge the buyer hundreds of dollars in fees per car. These fees lower the value of the donated vehicle. If a car donation service is unwilling to disclose these per vehicle costs, think twice about working with them. Your reputation as a non-profit organization is of the utmost importance and should not be attached to unscrupulous entities. At Advanced Remarketing Services, we’re very proud of our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and our ongoing relationships with non-profit partners.
Proven, reliable, and sustainable revenue.
The decision to add another fundraising program to your development portfolio is one that takes a great deal of thought, scrutiny and data. You’re also constantly looking for new opportunities to drive sustainable revenue to your mission. Vehicle donation is a proven, sustainable and reliable revenue source that you should take advantage of. If you’re interested in finding out more, give me a call at 877-957-2277.
President & CEO
Advanced Remarketing Services