Boat Donation – Why do it?

The Ins and outs of Boat donations from Kars for Kids – part I of Donation Process Series

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The summer is coming to an end or essentially has already been over for a few weeks already. There are those who still keep there boats out and ready just in case the weather is nice and they can still enjoy another nice trip out on the water this season. Many boat owners have used their boats for many years and are contemplating what to do next. Fix it, store it, and keep it for another year? Try to sell it? Maybe donate it?

Well all of these options can cause some anxiety over how this will work out. A boat is not a simple little machine that one stores in their garage. There is significant work to maintain the boat, keep it weather safe, and in a good and secure place while it’s not in use. There may be some mechanical difficulties or even aesthetically lacking a bit. Will anyone buy it? I put so much money into it, I don’t want to lose out. It really runs well and served us a while. With a bit of investment this can sell nicely, I just don’t have the time or money. Will a charity take it in this condition? These may be some of the questions and thoughts that go through a boat owner’s mind.

What is clear is that a boat can have significant value and still not sell and not provide value for a charity either. What I intend to do in this post and in a future post is to clarify this process even if just a bit for any potential boat donor.

  • Do your homework. Figure out how much work and effort it will be to store your boat for another year. Maybe it’s worthwhile at this time of year to look into the options of selling or donating a boat.
  • Find venues to sell the boat. How much will it cost you to fix the boat? How much will it cost to store it until next boat season? Will selling it bring in enough return that makes the storage costs and efforts worthwhile?
  • Start looking into donating a boat to a charity. Ask around, maybe some of your friends did donate a boat or at least did some research. Their experience can be invaluable.
  • Look around online. Find a reputable charity. Find a cause close to your heart or the best service that’s most convenient for you. Charities that are up-front and honest about what they can and cannot do are really worth speaking to regarding your options. If your boat donation does not work out, with good information your experience can be more pleasant and you may be inclined to call them back for your car donation.
  • Do your research online about charities. Are they recognized as a reputable charity by the IRS? Are they a 501C3 recognized charity? How much will you receive in tax benefits? Are there other valuable perks? What’s their service like? Professional, efficient, open and honest?
  • What will the charity do with your boat? Will that be sufficient for your tax needs? Will the process run relatively smoothly. I personally feel that open ended promises of hassle free pick-up etc. are too vague. Selling a boat, fixing a boat, maintaining and owning a boat, or donating a boat all have their paperwork, some hassle and details that have to be taken care of. That’s what a legal process entails. Nothing is hassle free ever!

Well, I think I’ve given you some food for thought. I will be back next week or the week after with more specific information about the process of boat donations.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact our customer service with any questions or you can email me at david@kars4kids.org You can also visit our boat page to see some basic information until the next time we speak.

All the best and happy last week or more of the water!

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