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Should I Donate My Car to Charity?

By Edited Jun 1, 2016 4 5

If you would like to donate your car to charity, you will have several options. There are tons of places that will accept your vehicle and many ways it can benefit others and yourself. Since many charitable organizations that accept vehicles are non-profit, you can give with a little more confidence that you are not simply making some else some money. Let's look at where I can donate my car to charity and some things to consider when you make your donation.

How does this work?

When I donate my car to charity, how does it all work? There are actually a few different ways the organization can raise money from the sale of the vehicle. Many of the larger organizations have their own auto lots, where they sell the vehicles to the public, like any other auto lot. Many smaller organizations will sell the vehicles at auction, including those held online. When you decide to donate your car to charity, you will help raise a fair amount of money for the organization.

Generally speaking, if you donate a car to charity, the organization will come and pick up the vehicle for you. This means you won't need to drive or tow the vehicle to a specific location, which is much more convenient. Some of the organizations will have limited areas they will accept vehicles from, to help reduce the cost of transporting the vehicles. When you look to donate your car to charity, you may have best luck with local organizations and groups.

What does the money go for?

This is all over the place. When I donate my car to charity, I may want to investigate the organizations really carefully, so I know where the money will go. There are some that fund youth programs, and others that fund shelter, or programs for the needy. If you have a specific cause you would like to support, there's a good chance you can donate your car to charity to an organization that supports the cause that interests you.

When you think, I'm going to donate my car to charity, but I only want to support certain causes, you will need to adjust the method you use to search accordingly. Be sure to enter the type of cause you would like to support, along with donate my car to charity, and see what you can find. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding some organizations that fit your expectations.

Tax benefits:

There are some very good tax benefits to consider when you look to donate your car to charity. For vehicles valued under $500, the donor can set a fair value to claim on their taxes. For vehicles valued over $500, the donor may only claim the actual sale amount. You will need to talk to a tax professional for further assistance if you are looking to donate your car to charity simply as a tax write off. The rules with these types of things change almost each year, so it pays to make sure you deal with a professional.

Who should I contact?

Kars4kids.org: This is a great organization that makes quick work of the process. In fact, on the front page of the site, they advertise a 2 minute process to complete your contribution. They are not available in every state, so be sure to check out the website to see if they service your area. It's a great place to consider when I look to donate my car to charity.

Rawhide.org: If I wanted to donate my car to charity, this would be a great place to check out. Rawhide helps troubled teen boys. The organization is faith based and has been around since 1965. You can see many of the vehicles they have received on eBay, where they sell most of them. Those that may wish to give a boat, camper, or other type of vehicle can do so at Rawhide.

Online: If you don't want to use either of these places to donate your car to charity, you can find tons of other places online in a matter of minutes. If you decide to give your vehicle to one of these organizations, it would be wise to select a non-profit organization. You should have no problems finding someone willing to take the vehicle off your hands.

Local sources:

Those that would like to see some of their contribution stay local will have some options. While you can check the phone book, you'll find many national organizations have listings in virtually all phone book areas. This can make is a little harder to figure out where to go to donate my car to charity. Let's look at some potential sources for a local contribution.

Boy Scouts: Many local Boy Scout troops collect items to sell at annual auctions. This may be a place to consider when you look to donate your car to charity locally. You may not receive the same tax benefits with this type of contribution.

Schools: Schools occasionally have auctions as well to raise money for various needs. If your school fits this mold, it's a great place to consider when you look to donate your car to charity.

Things to consider:

Okay, I decided to donate my car to charity, but I'm not sure which places are reputable. Unfortunately, you are going to find plenty of places that are very loose with the term non-profit. When you look at the organizations, you will really want to try to study how much of the money actually makes it to the intended cause. Many charitable organizations have high overhead and salary payments, resulting in less than 5% of the money raised actually making it to those in need. Before I decide to donate my car to charity, I would look at how much will actually go to help those in need.

You can sell your vehicle to a junk yard and give the money to a local charity. If you decide to donate your car to charity, you can actually sell it on your own and just give the money to whatever organization you would like to support. This way you will have much more control.

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Comments

Jan 25, 2010 7:25am
eileen
Thats a great of getting rid of your old car, I would never even have thought of donating it.
Jan 29, 2010 6:43am
JHKersey
Great article on donating a car to charity.
Mar 19, 2010 10:28pm
mommymommymommy
My husband and I donated two cars to our local Jewish Federation. People might want to check out local religious organizations.
Jul 10, 2010 10:25am
x3xsolxdierx3x
Interesting article, Jason...thanks :)
Mar 19, 2011 3:09am
bettinacurtis
If you find it necessary to donate your car why not, right? If you think your old car can help thousands of people better to donate it instead of junk it. By donating your car you'll get a charitable tax deduction. Before deciding on that choose a car donation program that is worthy enough. I think Wheels For Wishes is one of those reputable non-profit organization where you can donate your car. If you want to know how just go to their website at http://www.wheelsforwishes.org
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