Donate a vehicle and help build a home

Maybe you’d love to donate some of your time to Habitat for Humanity because you believe in the work they do, building affordable homes for low-income families, but you don’t have enough time to spare. On the other hand, maybe you have a used vehicle that you need to part with. In that case, both you and Habitat for Humanity are in luck.

Their national “Cars for Homes” program has created a win-win situation, with Habitat for Humanity able to accept donations of cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, RVs and other vehicles. They then sell the vehicles through automobile auctions, recyclers or salvage yards to raise money that helps in the construction of homes.

Funds generated from the sale of the vehicles benefits the local Habitat where the donation is made.

Since Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit organization, it may be possible for donors to claim deductions on their income tax returns, if they itemize. In general, donors can deduct the fair market value of any car up to $499. If it sells for more than $500, the full price can be deducted.

Every vehicle donated will go towards eliminating substandard housing in local communities.

Car Donation Tip

Be Proactive In Your Giving 

Smart givers generally don’t give re-actively in a knee-jerk fashion. They don’t respond to the first organization that appeals for help. They take the time to identify which causes are most important to their families and they are specific about the change they want to affect. For example, they don’t just support generic cancer charities, but instead have targeted goals for their giving, such as providing mammograms to at-risk women in their community.

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How does your city’s charities stand up?

Charity Navigator just published their most recent Metro Market Study - a report that compares the financial performance, the size, the accountability and the transparency of the largest nonprofits in the 30 largest metropolitan markets represented in our database of 6,000+ charities.

The 30 Metro Markets are: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Nashville, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Washington, DC.

In terms of their overall Financial Health and commitment to Accountability & Transparency, the study’s highest and lowest rated charitable communities are:

Highest Rated
Current Ranking Previous Ranking
1) San Diego 1) Houston
2) Houston 2) Kansas City
3) Kansas City 3) St. Louis
4) Cincinnati 4) Cincinnati
5) San Francisco 5) Portland
Lowest Rated          
Current Ranking Previous Ranking
30) Indianapolis 30) Orlando
29) Orlando 29) Tampa/ St. Petersburg
28) Nashville 28) Indianapolis
27) Atlanta 27) Milwaukee
26) Miami 26) Miami

Returns to charity, information to know before making a car donation

A charity has a responsibility to best manage your donation. Before making a donation of any kind, ask how much of the gross proceeds will go to the charity. If the organization will only list the percentage of net, then your donation could be largely wasted. Several published reports have clearly established that most car donation programs return between 15 and 35% of the gross back to the charity, but they report it as 50 to 70% of the net. This could mean the difference between the charity of your choice receiving $1,000 or receiving $150. CarDonationWizard will return between 75% and 80% of the gross back to the charity of your choice. Learn more by calling our customer service team at 855-957-2277 or visit us online at cardonationwizard.com.

Vehicles Recycled After Superstorm Sandy

Some of the vehicles damaged in Hurricane Sandy ranged in age and type from new to old, and high end to low end. Many different neighborhoods along the shore were affected. There were also neighborhoods inland that happened to be along rivers and bays that flooded. In addition to flood damage there was also significant damage from falling objects like trees and debris.

Whether insured or uninsured, many vehicles damaged by Sandy wound up at auto auctions as the first step in the recycling process. Depending on the extent of damages and the winning bid several outcomes are possible. The vehicle may be reconditioned and offered for sale, exported to a foreign country, dismantled for parts or processed for scrap metal value. the vehicles are sold “as is” at the auction to the highest bidder. The vehicles have varying levels of damage.

donated hurricane sandy cars1996 Nissan Sentra, damaged by Sandy, generously donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Besides cars and trucks, many other vehicle types were victims. The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) estimates that 65,000 recreational boats, both insured and uninsured, were damaged or lost in Sandy at an estimated dollar loss of $650 million. That made Sandy the single largest disaster for recreational boats on record.

For more information on donating your Hurricane Sandy car, check out our blog post on Hurricane Sandy Damaged Cars.

For more information on donating a boat to charity, visit our boat donation page.