NEW YORK — Auto dealers continue to give back to their communities through donations and volunteerism, with nearly 65 percent increasing charitable contributions this year compared to 2012, according to a recent survey by Ally Financial and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

The 2013 Dealer Charitable Survey, which polled dealer principals across the United State, also found that approximately 39 percent of dealers expect to increase their contributions again in 2014. Additionally, the survey found that nearly 45 percent of dealership employees volunteer more than 50 hours per year.

Survey data also showed:

  • More than 55 percent of dealers donated $25,000 or more in 2012, with a median value donated of approximately $30,000 per dealer
  • More than 63 percent of dealers surveyed said their dealerships organize staff volunteerism in the community, with nearly 28 percent saying their employees provide more than 100 hours of community service
  • Nearly 90 percent of dealers surveyed said they contribute to organizations focused on community services, followed closely (80 percent) by local (non-national) causes. Education-related organizations (74 percent) followed in third

"The contributions auto dealers make to their local communities each year is inspiring, and we are proud to work so closely with such high-caliber, civic-minded business leaders day in and day out," said Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial. "Heading into our third year of support for the TIME Dealer of the Year program, it's clear that dealers across the country show no sign of slowing these crucially important contributions to their communities."

Ally Financial will once again sponsor the TIME Dealer of the Year awards, which recognizes the nation's most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Heading into its 45th year, the program is produced in cooperation with NADA.

Nominees for the 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year Award will be announced in October, with the winner being named at the NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans on January 25, 2014.