Donating Your Car to Charity: 4 Things to Know Before You Donate

Donating your old car to charity is a great way to give back to others while letting go of an unwanted vehicle. But be aware, not all car donation programs are alike! Before you donate your car to charity, here are a few things you should find out.

car donation at Goodwill

Minivan from Goodwill Auto Auction

Is the charity a qualified 501(c)3 non-profit organization?

Donating a car to charity may help you qualify for a tax advantage, but you have to make sure you choose an organization with 501(c)3 public charity status with the IRS. To find out more about the guidelines from the IRS for charitable contributions, visit www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.

How easy is it to donate a car?

Getting an unwanted vehicle off your hands can be harder than you may think, especially if its no longer running. Look for a charitable car donation program that has multiple convenient drop-off sites for you to donate your vehicle. At Ohio Valley Goodwill, we have many citywide designated drop sites, plus we can even pick up and tow your car for free!

Donate a Car. Change a Life.

Donate a Car. Change a Life.

What happens to your donated car?

Once you donate your car, what happens to it? Does the organization resell it as-is? Do they scrap it and sell the parts? Do they refurbish the car and use it for transportation services?

Many car donation programs will resell donated vehicles in auto auctions to raise funds for a charitable cause. If this is the case, do careful research before donating. Some organizations hire for-profit auction companies to conduct their auctions. These third-party companies will often take a portion of the money raised by the donated cars, leaving only a small amount for the actual charity. If you want to make the maximum impact with your car donation, it’s better to choose an organization that manages and hosts its auto auction completely in-house—like Ohio Valley Goodwill!

Who benefits from your car donation?

Unfortunately, not all car donation programs operate with transparency and integrity. Many use false advertising to solicit donations and neglect to disclose how the money is used. As mentioned above, some car donation programs use for-profit intermediaries to manage their donation and auto auction process.

As Ohio Valley Goodwill, we pride ourselves on honesty and transparency. We operate the entire car donation and auction process in-house, and one hundred percent of the revenue generated by the auto auction remains with Goodwill to help provide funding for our services.

Goodwill Car Donation

Blue sedan donated to Goodwill’s Auto Auction

Ohio Valley Goodwill makes it easy and convenient to donate a car in Cincinnati

When you donate your car to Ohio Valley Goodwill, you will make a difference in the lives of people living right here in Greater Cincinnati. We’ve built our entire auto donation auction process in-house, which means there’s no outside (for-profit) auction company getting a cut of your car donation.

You can be confident that the funds your vehicle raises will support Ohio Valley Goodwill’s life-changing vocational programs, which provide valuable job skills training, career exploration, and employment services to job seekers with disabilities. By donating your car to Goodwill, you’re helping someone in your community go to work—now that’s a very good thing!

Support Cincinnati’s Original Auto Auction and become a job creator in your community. Donate your car to Ohio Valley Goodwill!

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