Non-profit radio station WMFE wants you to donate a pitch – Orlando Sentinel

If you’re a regular listener to WMFE, National Public Radio’s Orlando-based outlet, you may have been hit with an unusual request.

“If you have real estate or land that you no longer need, consider donating it to WMFE,” said an announcement during the radio station’s “Morning Edition” broadcast.

The idea of ​​someone giving away real estate might seem odd in a housing market that has seen record inventory and prices up more than 35% in two years. But the station is betting some listeners will see this proposal as a “win-win,” said president and chief executive Judith Smelser.

“Ownership can be a liability,” Smelser said. “We wanted to give as many opportunities for people to donate as possible.”

So far, Smelser says the station hasn’t received any real estate donations. “Maybe it will be a while before these donations start coming in,” she said.

“There is no risk for us. We don’t rely on that as a major source of revenue.

The station launched the land donation program in August in partnership with CARS, the California-based organization that raises funds for more than 8,400 nonprofits across the country, from disabled American veterans to Shriners International.

CARS has run WMFE’s vehicle donation program since 2005. WMFE reports that people donate an average of 215 vehicles per year to the station, mostly cars, but also boats and trailers. The vehicles are sold at auction and those who donate can benefit from a tax deduction in return.

“When you call to donate a car, it’s us on their behalf, taking your donation, facilitating pickup and then bringing it to auction,” said Howard Pearl, President and CEO of CARS.

Pearl said the idea of ​​looking at real estate donations came at the height of the pandemic, when a shortage of new vehicles drove up used car prices and fewer people were willing to give up what ‘they had.

Judith Smelser, president and CEO of WMFE-FM, poses for a portrait at the Hugh F. McKean Public Broadcasting Center, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. WMFE began asking its listeners to donate land, using the same agency who manages the donation car for the National <a class=Public Radio. (Ricardo Ramírez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel)” data-src=”https://www.orlandosentinel.com/resizer/4AXDsMROFMu32YgZdu-nrQlJtUE=/1440×0/filters:format(jpg):quality(70)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/tronc/NLOUVIHAPBF4JHRP2MV7JITEFY.jpg” width=”1440″ height=”0″ loading=”lazy”/>

“We were looking for alternatives,” Pearl said, “and the topic of real estate kept coming up.”

Pearl said he and his team believed there were people out there who might have properties they didn’t know what to do with and didn’t want to go through the hassle of selling.

“It’s good for people who have a second home, and maybe multiple kids, and don’t know who to give it to,” Pearl said, giving an example.

CARS has launched a pilot program for what they call Giving Property in 2021, taking land donations for a select group of nonprofits, expanding this year to offer the service to their other partners.

While Pearl couldn’t provide an exact figure because some donations have yet to be finalized, he said the program has already generated more than $1 million for its partner organizations, with one donation raising nearly $500. 000 dollars.

Tackling the complex world of real estate law was a real challenge for the company, Pearl said. “If you take possession of the property, obviously you have liability issues,” he said.

And it wasn’t just the insurance issues that CARS had to deal with. Leftover mortgages, liens on property by local governments, and contentious probate battles were all new hurdles for Pearl’s team.

“It’s very administratively heavy,” Pearl said. “I hope we have solved all the problems.”

Smelser said the idea of ​​accepting real estate donations wouldn’t be possible without CARS handling the ins and outs. “Working with CARS on this has allowed us to do that without becoming real estate agents ourselves,” she said.

Texas Public Radio also signed on Giving Property this summer. Membership director Aliyah Kuchinsky said the organization once received a donation from a couple who bought the land for a retirement home and then found a location they preferred.

“They didn’t really need [the other plot] more, so they decided they wanted it to feel good,” Kuchinsky said.

That donation raised $13,000, according to Kuchinsky, and his organization has another donation pending.

In the meantime, some vehicle donations continue to flow to WMFE.

Laura Kollar from Melbourne donated her silver 2002 VW Beetle Turbo to the station this year. His father had bought the car brand new.

After his death it became Kollar’s first car, before the 23-year-old said it needed more repairs than it was worth. That car brought in $600, Kollar said.

“I was hoping to make it a project car,” Kollar said. “It was really hard to part with it.”

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