Alumni

Vehicles, other donations accepted through iDonate platform

October 13, 2015 by Cindy O'Dell
Bye-bye Prius. Sarah Catz took a picture as her 10-year-old car was towed away through the iDonate process.

Bye-bye Prius. Sarah Catz took a picture as her 10-year-old car was towed away through the iDonate process.

Brandman University recently integrated the iDonate platform into the university website, allowing donors to support Brandman through cash and non-cash donations such as vehicles, assets, electronics and gift cards.

Sarah Catz, former vice chancellor and now an external affairs consultant for the university, recently donated her 2005 Prius and was delighted with both the process and the results.

“It really is a win-win situation, for Brandman, for me and hopefully for the person who received the car,” said Catz.

When her much-loved, 10-year-old car with 172,000 miles on it started to fail (both the hybrid battery and a cooling valve), Catz shopped around to see how much it would cost to repair the car or what she would get by selling it.

Repair estimates ranged from $3,000 to $5,000, depending on whether she replaced the hybrid battery with a used or new one. The most she was likely to get for the nonfunctioning car was $1,000. She was also concerned about what might fail next.

Sarah Catz's son Jake poses for his mother in the trunk of the Prius they donated through iDonate. She drove the car for 6 years and he drove it for 4.

Sarah Catz’s son Jake poses for his mother in the trunk of the Prius they donated through iDonate. She drove the car for 6 years and he drove it for 4 years before the hybrid battery gave out.

Since the iDonate platform was just being adopted, she decided to “be the guinea pig and see how iDonate works.”

“It was pretty seamless. I filled out the form. They contacted me by email,” she said. After providing additional information about car ownership (who had the pink slip, etc.), iDonate contacted her about a week later to set up a time to get the car. She got a receipt when they towed the car and a second one two weeks later when it sold at auction for $3,250.

Catz will be able to write off the entire donation value, 30 percent of which stays with iDonate and 70 percent sent along to Brandman University’s Office of Advancement. Brandman received about $2,500 which Catz designated for general need.

The entire process took about two months. “All-in-all I’m just thrilled with how it worked and am so glad it’s available to everybody,” said Catz, who has had at least three other people express an interest when she tells them how easy it was to donate a vehicle.

Designations to university can be made for greatest need, the Alumni Association scholarship fund, the Bryan Fazio Scholarship fund and for general scholarships. Donations may be personalized by indicating that it’s being given in honor or memory of another person.

More information is available on the iDonate page.

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