Boat Donation Programs

Written by Johnny Kitchens
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Most of the larger, well-known charitable organizations and many of the rest have boat donation programs--in addition to programs that can process the donation of other large vehicles and craft. Sometimes smaller charities do not have the systems in place to be able to run such programs but they may accept the odd donation of a large item like a boat, a car, or a truck. The process is pretty much the same for all such donations--except for the actual towing mechanics.

Charities that accept boat donations usually try to turn them around at auction as quickly as possible. The funds generated by the sale of a donated vehicle can then be of immediate impact to the charity and can represent a significant stream of income for them. Occasionally a charity can make use of a donated boat rather than selling it but the costs to operate a fleet of boats, or cars, or trucks is prohibitively expensive.

In order to accept the donation of large items, a charity needs to have a system in place for transferring paperwork, picking up and towing the vehicles, selling them, and making enough money on the sale to cover expenses with some left over. Charities often have professional processing companies handle all of this for them (for a reasonable fee) so they do not need to expend the money and man-hours themselves. So the boat that you donate should be able to bring enough at auction to cover these towing and processing fees, etc.

Make the Most of Your Donation

If you have a boat you are thinking of donating, you should do it now rather than letting it sit and deteriorate for several years. Charities usually cannot afford to make repairs, and a boat in terrible condition simply does not sell well. You will still be able to deduct the fair-market value for your boat and you may or may not be able to take credit for the work you do on it (talk to your local tax professional). Besides, the more money it brings, the more your donation benefits your chosen charity.


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