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Net Gain of 400 Percent on ’57 Chevy Donation

57 Chevy Belair with dollar signs representing net gain

What would you say if we told you that donors often realize a net gain by donating their cars? “What?” you might ask, “Making more money donating a car than the donor actually spent on the car in the first place? That makes no sense.”

Well, it happens more than you might suspect. Case in point: a member of our marketing team, while making small talk at a social event, was asked where she was employed. Our employee responded that she worked at Kars4Kids.

“Whoa,” said the guy who had asked the question in the first place. “I actually donated a car to them, once upon a time.”

“Really?” responded our employee.


“Yup. My uncle had a ’57 Chevy that was in terrible shape. But he persuaded me to buy it at a bargain price, telling me it was a ‘fixer-upper.’ Uncle Jim told me that if I put in some time fixing it up, the car would be worth much more. He sold the car to me for $100.

“I honestly thought it would be a fun project. But I was just getting started in the real estate business, and I didn’t have time to work on the darned thing. The car just sat in my garage, taking up space.

“Meantime, I kept hearing the Kars4Kids jingle on the radio during my daily commute to the office, and wondered if they’d take that piece of junk off my hands. I thought maybe it was in such bad shape, they wouldn’t accept it as a donation.

“I called them anyway and they said, ‘Sure we’ll take it.’ They came the same day, towed away the Chevy, and I got a $500 tax deduction.”

“What a story!” said our employee.

Net Gain of 400 Percent

“Yeah,” said the former ’57 Chevy owner. “My uncle was right. That car turned out to be a good investment. I paid $100 for it, and got a $500 deduction, a net gain of 400 percent! Not bad for my first investment, right?”

“Whoa,” said our employee, impressed. “What amounts to a profit of 400 percent for a car in bad condition? I think that’s amazing!”

“Yeah. When I told my uncle, he laughed and said he should have donated it in the first place, and gotten the deduction himself. ‘Live and learn,’ he said.

“I had a good laugh. But the truth is, I was really happy to donate a car that was essentially a piece of junk, and not only get a deduction, but help kids in the process.

“I was glad I’d had the idea to donate that car. But the jingle is really what triggered the thought in the first place, so hats off to your marketing team,” said the donor.

“Nice to Be Appreciated.”

“Thank you!” said our beaming employee. “It’s nice to be appreciated.”

Incidental exchanges like this one happen all the time, and these unsolicited testimonials make our work a pleasure. Maybe that’s the reason we walk into work each day with smiles on our faces. Because we know we’re doing right by our donors, giving great service while helping children, too!