DETROIT — Auto dealers continue to increase their level of giving to charitable causes, according to new survey data from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and Ally Financial.

More than 70% of new-car dealers surveyed in September said they increased their charitable giving in 2014, up from 65% last year. About 43% of dealers said they expect to increase their contributions again in 2015, up from 39% in 2013.

The bulk of this giving is staying in dealer’s local communities, as nearly 90% of dealers said their contributions go to supporting community service and local organizations. More than 65% of dealers surveyed said they organize staff volunteerism opportunities in their community.

“Franchised new-car dealers are among the largest supporters of community-based programs and charitable organizations in most towns across the country,” said NADA President Peter Welch. “New-car dealers support their local communities in many ways — from creating well-paying jobs, generating significant revenue in taxes to providing other economic benefits. It’s difficult to keep track of the level of charitable involvement because so many dealers do not seek publicity or recognition.”

“Dealers see the value of giving back in a variety of ways — from their businesses, to their communities and beyond,” said Tim Russi, president of Auto Finance for Ally. “Auto dealers are leaders in their communities, and their giving often inspires others to make a difference as well, which pays dividends for all.”

The survey results were part of NADA and Ally’s annual Dealer Charitable Survey for 2014. Results also showed that nearly 50% of dealers gave more than $25,000 to nonprofit organizations and charitable causes in 2013, with 13% giving in excess of $100,000. Dealers surveyed donated or lent out approximately $4.5 million worth of vehicles for charitable causes.

More than 97% of dealers surveyed said that engaging in community outreach or giving back efforts enhances a dealership’s reputation. Nearly 90% agreed or strongly agreed that supporting nonprofit organizations has helped to promote and drive awareness of their business within their local community.

Welch added that aside from the countless donations from individual dealers in cities across the U.S., thousands of NADA members are involved with the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation, which supports numerous causes and organizations.