Charitable giving can be done in a few different forms. For many individuals, giving is done by writing a check to their church, making a contribution to their favorite charity or another worthwhile cause. But giving doesn’t always have to be done with currency. Non-cash item donations in the form of a car or vehicle can make a world of difference in the lives of individuals or families in need. One small and seemingly insignificant act of kindness can have a ripple effect in a community, stretching the value of a car donation much further than a $500 tax deduction.

Mystifying for some, the process of donating a car or vehicle is easy and much less stressful than creating a listing on Craigslist or trying to find a private buyer and haggling about what the vehicle is worth. We have has taken considerable effort to remove the cloud of mystery behind the car or vehicle donation process.

More questions about Rawhide’s car donation process can be answered here.

Time is valuable. We’ve boiled down the car or vehicle donation process into three simple steps:

  • Filling out a vehicle donation form or contacting a call center
  • Arranging a drop-off or scheduling a pickup
  • Waiting for a tax receipt to come after the vehicle is sold


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Intrinsic-value-of-vehicle-donation infographic

Benefits of donating a vehicle

Believe it or not, you can maximize the value of your vehicle by donating it – especially if it isn’t in good working order. Donors will see the immediate benefit of vehicle or car donations coming in the form of a tax deduction without the hassle of prepping the vehicle for sale or finding and negotiating with a potential buyer.

While Rawhide encourages local donation, we are supported by a large network that can arrange a free pick-up and transport services for vehicle donations, making it possible for donors across the state of Wisconsin and the country to make a meaningful contribution. Rawhide accepts cars of all ages and condition – whether it’s running or not.


Not only will you be receiving a tax break, but if you donate locally, you can help improve the lives of those who quite literally need a lift! At-risk youth at Rawhide gain valuable mechanical skills by helping inspect and sometimes repair donated vehicles, helping them find gainful employment after they leave our care. In other cases, cars at Rawhide are sold to families in need who don’t have the means to provide their own transportation. Access to an affordable car can open up a job opportunity or provide a way for a child to participate in after-school activities.

Daryl and Cynthia’s Car Donation Experience

Another way to make a meaningful contribution is to donate a vintage or classic car that needs maintenance. A car over the age 25 is considered “classic.” Even younger, more unique models like the Pontiac Aztek are rising in value thanks to groups of millennials and cultural significance. While your Aztek might no longer be close to your heart, chances are there’s a car collector out there waiting to restore it.

Why giving makes us feel good

Donating a car or vehicle is a simple, stress-free way to make a generous contribution to benefit real people in need.

While it’s easy to see the monetary value of vehicle donation, other donor benefits are longer lasting and are a little more difficult to quantify. Studies show that when we make a donation to charity, in any form, it makes us feel happier in the long run. In some cases, giving has even been shown to lower blood pressure!

You’ve probably experienced a “helpers high” or “givers glow” during the holiday season. When we give, regions of our brain that are associated with pleasure activate, creating positive feelings and brain-boosting benefits.

A study done by Nature Communications attempted to find a link between generous behavior and increases in happiness. They gathered a group of participants who pledged to spend money over a four-week span either on themselves or on others. They found that the participants who made more generous choices showed stronger increases in self-reported happiness. If you take a few minutes to search online, you’ll be able to find dozens of other studies that have made similar conclusions.

Tax benefits of donating a car

Vehicle donors at Rawhide receive on average a 48% higher tax deduction compared to other national car donation charities. Like most tax laws, information made available about donation can be a little confusing. And recently, car and vehicle donations have changed.

Donors can choose one of the following two options by the IRS for a tax deduction:

1. Based on the value of your car, you may opt to claim up to $500 immediately, without waiting for the re-sale price. (It is up to you, as the donor, to determine the fair market value of your vehicle.)


2. You can wait until your vehicle is sold if you determine the vehicle’s value is over $500. (After your vehicle is sold, you will receive an official 1098-C receipt for your records.)

*Donors need to itemize their taxes to be able to claim the deduction.

Rawhide, Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to staying debt free. The generosity of donors enables Rawhide to provide help for at-risk youth and their families.


How Rawhide’s funds are used

Rawhide directs 83% of funds to finance programs that serve at-risk youth and families including residential treatment care, education, counseling, foster care, therapeutic programs, and basic living needs.

Rawhide accepts vehicle donations in the form of cars, boats, RVs, motorcycles, campers, and more.
How Rawhide Boys Ranch donation funds are used