CARS to offer philanthropic screening of vehicle donors

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Starting July 1, the vehicle-donation program Charitable Adult Rides and Services, Inc. will offer its public broadcasting clients the option of screening donors to discover their potential for philanthropic giving.

“We know that a lot of vehicle donors have never touched an organization in any giving way before, so it’s a new entree into a potential new supporter,” said Bruce Bauer, director of partner support for CARS.

Since January, the organization has been asking donors to self-report whether their vehicle donation was their first gift to the organization. Of more than 10,000 vehicle donors, more than half responded that it was their first donation to a public media organization. The results indicated an opportunity for public broadcasting stations to develop relationships with new donors, according to CARS.

Public broadcasting clients can opt into the screening service at no cost. Stations working with other vehicle donation programs may have their donor files screened for a nominal fee. Starting in July, stations can review data from June and continue on a monthly basis.

The service is available through a partnership with DonorSearch, a provider of philanthropic prospect research to nonprofits. It provides analytics on donor wealth, business affiliations, stock holdings in public companies, capacity and likelihood to give, as well as relationships with other prospects.

CARS selected DonorSearch for the company’s comprehensive overviews, a “critical dimension of philanthropic screening,” said Mike Wallace, a consultant on the project. “Looking at someone’s wealth and their network on paper doesn’t give you a sense of their philanthropic giving,” Wallace said.

CARS works with more than 2,000 nonprofits across the country, including 200 public media stations, Bauer said.

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