Top 5 Car Donation Charities of The Decade Near Me [Details]

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Today let you know the Top 5 Car Donation Charities of The Decade Near You. Donating your used car to charity is a win-win – you get to purge unused vehicles gathering dust while giving back to worthy causes. As we wrap up not just a year but an entire decade, it’s worth reflecting on the most reputable national charities to donate cars over the 2010 to 2020 timeframe based on financial transparency, percentage of proceeds funding programs, and community impact.

This guide will countdown the top 5 car donation charities, explaining their missions, community benefits, donation processes, and any concerns flagged over the past decade. We’ll also answer the most frequently asked questions by those considering donating their cars this season or later in the new decade.

 Top 5 Car Donation Charities of The Decade Near Me [Details]

#5: Vietnam Veterans of America

Founded in 1978, the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is a nonprofit serving Vietnam-era vets and their families through economic opportunities, health initiatives, and local community support. Its car donation program funds job training, substance abuse counseling, PTSD treatment, and disability benefits advocacy across hundreds of chapters nationwide.

How it works: After filling out a simple online car donation form or calling their vehicle hotline, VVA coordinates free towing through a third party handler no matter if the car runs or not. Donors can track their donation status via email and receive a tax-deductible receipt by mail. While the percentage of proceeds is not disclosed and administrative costs appear higher than some peers, the VVA improves countless veterans’ lives through wide-ranging service programs.

#4: Ronald McDonald House Charities

Dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of children and their families during medical crises, Ronald McDonald House Charities is world renowned for providing cost-free temporary housing near hospitals. While best known for their network of Ronald McDonald Houses offering lodging and support activities when kids are undergoing treatment, this charity has donated over $100 million in grants over the past decade to similar nonprofits globally.

Vehicle donations fund these housed and healthcare access efforts for families most in need. The process involves scheduling a free tow by calling 1-855-CARS-1-RM or filling out a simple online form to get the ball rolling. Though light on financial transparency, RMHC helps hundreds of thousands of families per year with homestays during immense trauma.

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#3: National Kidney Foundation

As one of the largest U.S. nonprofits fighting kidney disease through public awareness, early detection initiatives, patient education, and funding research for improved treatments, the National Kidney Foundation has been one of the most prominent car donation programs over the past decade.

Their well-organized process lets you choose between arranging your own sale and donating the proceeds versus filling out minimal paperwork to schedule a free vehicle tow-away. Close monitoring lets donors see every step from initial intake to funds being deployed to fighting kidney disease nationwide, in addition to tax paperwork for deductions. With strong financial transparency and directing 82 cents of every donated dollar towards education, research and support – not overhead – NKF is worthy of a top 5 spot.

#2: Wounded Warrior Project

With a mission to support post 9/11 wounded veterans via mental and physical health programs, career counseling, benefit assistance and long-term rehabilitative support, Wounded Warrior Project channels car donations into assisting over 190,000 registered alumni and family members with personalized recovery plans absolutely free of charge.

Donors can easily get the ball rolling by calling their 24/7 helpline to coordinate towing logistics. WWP does not sell or salvage donated vehicles themselves, instead partnering with third party processor Car Donation Foundation to handle vehicle auctions and converting donations into funds efficiently. Though they do not disclose what percentage is spent on programs, Wounded Warrior Project is renowned for changing injured veterans’ lives with direct support.

#1: Habitat for Humanity

Our #1 car donation charity for the decade is the global housing nonprofit Habitat for Humanity. Alongside their home construction efforts spanning over 70 countries thanks to volunteer labor and fundraising, Habitat’s vehicle donation program has made an immense impact by funding construction materials and supporting expansion into more communities in need the past ten years.

After entering basic vehicle and contact info online, Habitat will coordinate with a third-party handler to pick up donated cars, boats, trucks and RVs completely free of charge. Though timelines vary by region and towing company promptness, donors can expect pickup within 1-3 weeks before being mailed a tax receipt for the sale value. While the exact percentage again is not openly shared, Habitat is known for directing an incredibly high amount towards their mission thanks to lean operations, warranting the top spot.

FAQs About Top Car Donation Charities

How does the car donation tax deduction work in 2023 and 2024?

Donating a used car to any qualified 501c3 charity entitles you to claim an itemized deduction for the sale price the organization receives at auction, benefitting those who exceed the standard deduction threshold. Consult your tax advisor to maximize deductions.

What charity has the highest car donation percentage to their cause?

Of mainstream national charities, Make-A-Wish uses an impressive 97% of funds raised from vehicle donations towards their mission of granting critically ill children’s wishes thanks to minimized overhead. Donation percentages vary greatly even among reputable nonprofits.

Which car donation charity offers free towing?

Nearly every qualified 501c charity provides free towing of your donated vehicle. This includes all charities in this top 5 list along with Make-A-Wish, Car Donation Foundation, and more. Scheduling pickup is quick and convenient.

How much does donating my car help people in need?

While monetary estimates vary, most charities direct vehicle proceeds towards tangible items to assist others in need – 28 wheelchairs from one car’s value for the Wheelchair Foundation, 139 meals for Feeding America, 3 months of hospice care through the American Cancer Society or 11 hours of research into a rare disease through donations to medical foundations. Outside of financial impact, donating unwanted cars also keeps them out of landfills to help the planet. It’s a great way to give back through what no longer serves you.

Can I donate a car that doesn’t run?

Absolutely! All the aforementioned 501c3 charities gladly accept junk or inoperable vehicles for donation, handling towing logistics at no cost to you before transferring them to salvage auction handlers. Damaged cars often raise money for great causes.


As we wrap up reflecting on not just the year but the entire decade, charities like Vietnam Veterans of America, Ronald McDonald House, National Kidney Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project and Habitat for Humanity have led the way in directing vehicle donations to serve health initiatives, medical research, housing needs, job assistance and far more. If you’re looking for the most reputable car donation programs but want added peace of mind, consult charity evaluator sites like Charity Navigator for deeper insight on financial transparency. Giving your car or other unused vehicles to reputable 501c3 nonprofits benefits great causes while cleaning out your own clutter – that’s the ideal win-win.