No. Really? What a surprise! Actually a few charities do accept timeshare donations, but not the way you think. Those that do, don’t actually take title from you. You continue to hold title while donating your timeshare and pay all the bills until their broker finds a buyer.
Because time is money, they won’t even try unless they know it will sell it fast. Here’s a current direct quote from one large timeshare donation site.
“All properties offered for donation will undergo a four week market analysis whereby the value of the property will be estimated. No property will be accepted for donation if the market analysis concludes that the property can not be sold for a profit within a three week period.”
Donating cash to a charity lets you write off the cash amount and lets them spend the cash as they need. Donating a timeshare, a non-cash item, takes an extra step. It has no value initially. If they can convert it into cash the IRS says that what they receive is the actual value of the donation. So your $17,000 timeshare that they sell for $200 is only worth that. They keep the cash and that’s your receipt.
The resort only looks who’s on the title. They send the bills to everyone and send non-payers to collections and threaten to ruin credit ratings. If a charity uses credit they won’t want to risk this.
A charity that doesn’t use credit and doesn’t care what the resort does isn’t subject to this threat. They smile and ignore the empty threats. Is that legal? Definitely, YES. It’s just a financial decision to make. You could do it yourself if you were willing to risk your credit. Actually, after 3 years they can offer the donated timeshare back to the resort without jeopardizing your original donation credit.
Is yours on the reject list? No one really knows. As nice is it might be for donors to see such a list in advance, it would always be changing. The best way to find out is to contact some charities that directly sell timeshares. As stated above, some will want to take up to four weeks to determine if it can be sold within the next three weeks. However, most experienced charities and their brokers can tell almost immediately those that they can’t resell and will tell you. Don’t hesitate to ask for a quick opinion.
What are your options? First, always contact the resort directly and try to work out a return to them. Next, contact a few of the biggest and most direct charities that accept timeshares like DonateForACause, The American Kidney Fund, Gifts for Sight, and TheCharityGroup and ask directly if they will accept your resort. They should be able to give you a quick answer and not require a few weeks to “test the market”.
If they can’t accept it (sell it for you quickly) contact us. We can help.
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