When you donate a car to charity your heart is in the right place. You want to help a cause that’s struggling to continue its work helping others in the world.
One of your priorities could be to give a free car to those in need. When you consider replacing your vehicle, it may cross your mind that someone with limited resources could use what’s left of its usefulness.
The Process When You Donate a Car to Charity
When a vehicle is donated to a nonprofit through Cars2Charities, we resell your vehicle in order to send a check to your charity of choice. In other words, the value of your vehicle is converted into cash for a cause.
When you don’t know how to donate a car, you may be unaware of the best aspects of this modus operandi. Because the door is wide open – you can choose any 501(c)(3) – the steering wheel is in your hands (pun intended). There are nearly limitless options; you can support any cause you care about.
It’s not an unusual process – most vehicle donation programs work in the same way. You reach out to us and we arrange a fast, free pickup of your donation vehicle. We then sell your car and send proceeds to the nonprofit organization you choose.
Donors without a connection to a particular nonprofit can look over our list of charity partners for ideas. We have worked with organizations in nearly every category imaginable, including:
• Women’s issues
• Disaster relief
• Animal rescue
• Senior citizens
• Science / Technology
Giving a Free Car to Charity
But while a nonprofit benefits when you donate a car to charity through us at Cars2Charities, there are also other ways to support those who need additional resources.
We have recently taken many calls from individuals who want information about how to donate a car more directly to someone who needs one. And we’ve also had requests in the opposite – of men and women who are requesting that we send them a charity car.
Because Cars2Charities is a commercial fundraising company, we are not at liberty to give away cars. Therefore, when a client prefers to send their vehicle straight to individuals rather than choosing the route our business has in place, we refer them to companies that operate with that kind of process.
1-800 Charity Cars
This is a program where you can make an immediate impact in sending your wheels to someone needing them, and in most cases it’s direct. Your donation car may go to aid a veteran, or perhaps a family who’s struggling.
With this organization, donors can call or fill out an online request form to apply for their program. Donation vehicles are either given to those in need or are sold to fund future repairs needed on cars received from other donors.
You donate directly and 1-800-Charity Cars offers fast, free towing within 24-48 hours.
Upon receipt of your donation car, the company determines whether or not to give the car to a deserving family or sell it at auction. If they make your car a “program vehicle” they will call you and explain what that process involves. In any case, like other vehicle donation programs, you receive a tax-deductible receipt for the “fair market value” in the end.
Cars 4 Christmas
As a nonprofit created to provide free basic transportation to disadvantaged individuals, Cars4 Christmas has a unique appeal. Applicants typically include people with ill children, disabilities and medical conditions, and those in transitional housing.
Nearly half of transit-dependent Americans live outside of urban areas. However, most job creation occurs in cities. Founder Terry Franz worked in the automotive industry and had helped create lending plans for people so they could afford a vehicle. He noticed that many individuals had poor credit or low incomes and, therefore, had trouble affording a car. Some of them had life-altering experiences that negatively impacted their situation.
The organization’s website says, “Everyday, people’s lives are turned upside down by unexpected tragedies, illnesses and other serious circumstances that cannot be controlled. The effects of such situations can be staggering and often go unappreciated by the vast majority of society which, in the ‘present’ moment is not experiencing life, job and family-changing events.”
Apply for a vehicle on their website: http://www.cars4christmas.org.
Cars 4 Heroes is another nonprofit begun by Terry Franz which was created to benefit U.S. military veterans. Cars 4 Heroes provides a free car to those in need – military families needing reliable transportation.
If you’re an individual who says, “I want to donate my car to military members and their families,” there are many opportunities to do that. Cars2Charities also operates a car donation program for veterans.
But Cars 4 Heroes has its own protocol, which is very successful. Because the organization specifically provides cars to families with extenuating circumstances, those include veterans who are injured, or those who have family members who are wheelchair-bound or have heart problems. One example is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm who was disabled and barely getting by on the money earned from disability checks. He needed a car to get to medical appointments.
Says the Cars 4 Heroes website: “Although the cars are not the newest or fanciest, it’s not about a free car. It’s about the freedom to get to a doctor, the grocery store, or even a child getting a ride to school. It’s about getting to a job that is further than walking distance or getting to town if you live in a rural community, and it’s about giving someone transportation to lift themselves to a better standard of living.”
Donating Vehicles to Local Families
There are organizations that provide low-cost vehicles for low-income families and many are centered on one particular area. A number of donors want to find a free car charity that benefits people in their own vicinity. If that’s where your heart is, it may be something to seek out.
You’re probably familiar with such large entities as Goodwill Industries, which has a store locator on its website, where you can be directed to ask more questions about their programs. You can donate a car to Goodwill, but it is not a free car charity. The car donation process through Goodwill results in a pickup of your vehicle and sale of the car.
Cars2Charities can process your car donation to Goodwill as well. We pick up your vehicle and sell it, then send proceeds to Goodwill, while you receive the tax deduction for its fair market value.
Good News Garage
This nonprofit has given 5,000 free cars to those in need.
There are many benevolent aspects to the work of Good News Garage, including:
• Those who receive a free car donation can move their lives forward.
• There is free towing and a tax deduction for car donors.
• Benefits go to New England communities through local business transactions.
• It is a charity free car service offering vehicles to families in the Northeastern United States.
Opening its doors in 1996, Good News Garage started in Burlington, Vermont through Ascentria Care Alliance, which at the time was Lutheran Social Services. Social activist Hal Colston had seen the plight of individuals who didn’t have the resources to get to work, and the hardship that resulted.
Good News Garage provides low-income families affordable transportation and operates additional programs. One of those is Ready To Go, which has provided more than 30,000 rides to work. The program also lends donated minivans to individuals for the activities that they and their families need.
This organization accepts vehicles in: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, the southern and mid-coast of Maine, eastern New York, and other states on a case-by-case basis.
Vehicles for Change
Vehicles for Change was launched in 1999 to affect the economic stability of people without resources. Through the car donation program and internship opportunities, the charity helps families gain independence.
Approximately 99% of the organization’s vehicle donations come from individual public donors. The cars are assessed by their technicians and those meeting a certain standard of quality are sold to lower income individuals for as little as $950.
Social service agencies put VFC in touch with families who need this type of help. As a nonprofit organization, Vehicles for Change has given more than 6,000 charity free cars away. They have impacted 22,000-plus individuals since opening in 1999.
There are many opportunities to give away a vehicle for free, and it’s always a good feeling to share your resources with those less fortunate. In whatever form you donate a car to charity, it’s a win-win, considering you receive a tax deduction while others gain the benefit of your vehicle’s value.