Car Donation Charities | A Quick Guide


Posted Sunday May 12, 2013 by admin

Car Donation Charities | A Quick Guide

Tips for Deciding Between Car Donation Charities

When you no longer have use for your current vehicle, one extremely generous option for it is finding a charity that will take it off your hands. So if you have a car you’ve been thinking of selling, this is a very generous way of helping out the less fortunate. Car donation charities will then either sell it and use the money to help those in need or actually provide the car directly to those who would benefit. However, don’t be too quick to give your vehicle way after making the decision to donate it. Instead, take a couple extra minutes to consider what you should look for in car donation charities.

Know Their Reputation

It’s unfortunate to say, but the truth is that you just can’t blindly trust a charity these days. Many people out there are looking for ways to turn a buck and, unfortunately, they may decide to scam you by posing as a representative for a charity.

So be sure to look into any and all organizations you’re considering giving your car too. This way you won’t have to worry about your act of generosity coming back to bite you.

With so many car donation charities to choose from, though, we have listed some reputable organizations below.

Consider Your Taxes

Donating your vehicle is great for the people who receive it. However, it can also be a great way to owe less on your taxes. Donating your car, like other charitable contributions, is definitely good for a tax deduction. However, there are a number of things you need to know before getting this benefit.

First, any organization you deal with must be a registered and valid charity. You can’t simply give it to a friend in need or any old charity you come across—even if they have the best intentions. You also need to get a valid tax deduction receipt on handing your vehicle over. This is necessary for writing off the amount on your taxes. However, it’s also going to be very important should you wind up audited for some reasons.

Second, you need to find out how much your vehicle is being valued at. Just because you could sell it for $5,000, doesn’t mean that’s how much car donation charities will price it for. You need to know this amount because that’s all you’re allowed to write off. Furthermore, the total will probably differ a great deal from one charity to the next, so it’s worth “shopping around” a bit in order to get the best possible deduction.

Understand Transferring Your Car

For the most part, handing your car over to a charity isn’t so different from selling it. So you need to be absolutely clear on what’s required of you as the “seller” in your state. Under no circumstances should you leave the “buyer” section of the title without a name. If the charity insists on this, remind them that you could be held liable for anything the next owner does and that the charity may not get proper credit for this donation.

Fortunately, these charities tend to be so established nowadays that much of this won’t be an issue. However, it’s still important advice worth considering. For anything else that comes up, just take your time with the process and you should be fine.

Wheels for Wishes

If you are looking for reputable car donation charities, Wheels for Wishes is definitely a top choice. When you donate your car to this charity, the money from its sale goes to the very popular Make a Wish Foundation. This charity focuses on children who are dealing with life-threatening illnesses. It has 62 charities in the U.S. and 47 more all over the globe. Since 1980, this philanthropy has helped some of the sickest children imaginable get their wish, no matter how imaginative it may be. Whether your car runs or not, this charity will find some good for it.

Purple Heart Foundation

Not many car donation charities can claim a history that goes back to 1957. Yet they’ve transitioned to the digital age perfectly, meaning donating a vehicle takes about two minutes with their online form. Then they come pick it up and tow it away.

Your donation gets sold off with the profits going to a whole host of services for veterans. These include:

  • Vets Hospitals
  • Pensions
  • Job Training
  • Education
  • Legislative Representation
  • Help for Those with Disabilities

Cars for a Cure

By now, most people have heard of the American Cancer Society. The foundation has been working against the disease since 1913 and today has more than 900 offices all over the country. Cars for a Cure sells vehicles and use the money to invest in cancer research. Some might actually go to use for the charity itself.

As with Purple Heart Foundation, all you need to do is go online and fill out a form. They’ll do the rest. For those they sell, the money goes to:

  • Free Stays in their Hope Lodge for Those Traveling for Treatment
  • Supporting their 24/7 Call Line
  • Connecting People to Free Clinical Trials
  • Eliminating Health Disparities in Underprivileged Neighborhoods

National Kidney Foundation

With over 30 offices located throughout the country, the National Kidney Foundation is hard at work trying to prevent diseases that affect the kidneys and urinary tract. They also work to help the families of those afflicted with such ailments and raise awareness about organ transplantation.

Their Kidney Car program has been around since the mid-80s and so far has brought in over $250 million just from car donations. They also hold the distinction of being one of the first car donation charities. Over the past 30 years, they’ve developed a reputation for helping donors make this process as easy as possible, including dealing with title problems.

There are hundreds of other car donation charities to choose from such as Charity Motors and Free Charity Cars. There is also the choice of donating your vehicle to a charity car auction. Even if a charity doesn’t explicitly advertise that they accept cars, it’s worth a call to see if they’ll have any use for yours.