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October 21, 2015

Minn. Make-a-Wish Parts With Car-Donation Group Facing Inquiry

The Minnesota chapter of children's charity Make-a-Wish has severed ties with a national vehicle-donation nonprofit that is under investigation by state authorities, The Associated Press reports. Make-a-Wish Minnesota had previously endorsed the inquiry by Attorney General Lori Swanson, who accuses the Car Donation Foundation of misleading donors and steering most of its revenue to affiliated for-profit companies.

Under the name "Wheels for Wishes," the St. Paul-based foundation solicits vehicle gifts and pledges proceeds go to local Make-a-Wish chapters. Ms. Swanson issued a report last week asserting that about a fifth of the $108 million the foundation took in from 2011 to 2014 went to Make-a-Wish, while $59 million went to firms owned by the foundation's leaders that manage its operations and scrap or resell the collected cars. The foundation said in a statement that the allegations show "a fundamental lack of understanding about how charitable car-donation programs operate."