Car donation is still the best way to avoid the hassle of trying to sell or fix a car at the end of its life. Rawhide has been accepting car donations since 1983. Many donors wonder what happens after their vehicle is donated and how their car donation helps the youth we serve.

After a car is donated to charity:

  • The vehicle is picked up at a home or business
  • Vehicles are then inspected
  • After inspection, most vehicles are sold at auction
  • Some vehicles can be repaired and sold at discount to those in need
  • A small number of vehicles will be salvaged for scrap

What happens after a car is donated to charity

Rawhide has a unique history in Wisconsin. Through the years, we’ve been blessed with thousands of generous vehicle donations — many from repeat donors.

What kinda of vehicles can you donate to Rawhide

What kinds of vehicles can you donate to charity?

The most common vehicle donations we receive are:

  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • SUVs
  • Vans
  • Motorhomes or RVs
  • Motorcycles
  • Boats

Rawhide is the only car donation program in the state of Wisconsin that evaluates and repairs donated vehicles.

Why do we repair donated vehicles?

  1. Our donors can receive a higher tax deduction
  2. More funds can come back to Rawhide to help struggling youth and families

Over 83% of funds from vehicle donation go directly to the youth we serve.

All of the funding we receive stays in the state of Wisconsin in order to help build stronger families and better communities.

What happens to donated vehicles to Rawhide?

What happens when you donate a car to Rawhide

Rawhide functions a little differently than other car donation charities. Vehicle donors in Wisconsin can be assured their donation funds will be used in-state and in their own communities when they donate to Rawhide.

We’re committed to equipping at-risk youth and families with the tools they need to lead healthy and responsible lives.

When you donate a vehicle to Rawhide it’s most likely to wind up at one of our inspection sites around the state, but some come back to our main campus in New London.

Here’s what happens when your car is donated online or over the phone to Rawhide:

→  Your vehicle is picked up at a home or business
Our haulers can pick up your vehicle as long as it’s accessible and can roll on its wheels.

→  Most vehicles are sent to a local auto auction and repaired
Not every vehicle comes back to our main campus in New London, WI. After your car, truck, SUV, or van is donated, it heads to one of our inspection sites across the state. Rawhide is well represented at Badger State Auto Auction, Greater Milwaukee Auto Auction, and Jefferson Mid-state Auto Auction.

→  Classic or vintage cars come back to Rawhide for auction & repair

Donations don’t need to be limited to vehicles at the end of their lives. Rawhide maintains an active eBay store, refreshed weekly with vintage cars, boats, motorcycles, and other unique items.

Over the years, we’ve sold hundreds of classic cars and trucks, hard-to-find boats, and other rare items that have donated.

Our Rawhide Sales Facebook page features some of the vehicles featured in our eBay showroom.

Car and boat enthusiasts from around the country have driven to New London after winning an eBay auction.

→  Other vehicles come back to Rawhide for repair through work experience and education for at-risk youth

Pennau Prep Center at Rawhide

Pennau Prep Center at Rawhide where staff and students repair donated vehicles.

Rawhide is known around the state of Wisconsin and across the country because of its vehicle donation program.

The young men in residential care at our campus in New London go through individualized education at Starr Academy, a fully-accredited private school on campus, and can participate in work experience opportunities.

Rawhide welding class

A welding elective class provides real-life job training for students.

Auto Repair is offered as an elective course and a work experience opportunity for every youth staying in residential care at our New London campus.

→  Some cars are provided to people in need
Other vehicles are brought to Rawhide’s campus are repaired by technicians and sold at a discount to folks in need through partnerships with local charities.


  • One of biggest misconceptions of donors is that the young men who stay in our Residential Care facility in New London work on every vehicle donated to us.


  • Due to the sheer amount of vehicles that are donated and the varying interests of the youth who stay with us, it would not be feasible. Young men at Rawhide enrolled in the Auto Repair elective classes at Starr Academy have a chance to learn work skills by performing common auto repair techniques on the vehicles donated.

How much tax credit do you get for donating a car?

Car donors in 2019 can choose one of two options allowed 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.

2. You may wait until Rawhide sells your car if you know the vehicle’s value is over $500.

The Rawhide Sales Team works to ensure that our donors can receive the maximum amount based on your vehicle’s age, condition, and location to determine the best sales venue. After your vehicle is sold, you will receive an official 1098-C receipt for your records.

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






Can you donate a car that doesn’t run?

Yes! You can donate a car that no longer runs.

One of the most stressful experiences when looking to unload a broken-down vehicle is figuring out how to get it out of your driveway. As long as your vehicle rolls on its wheels and is located where it is easily accessible for our haulers, we’re able to take the donation.


  • A common misconception associated with donating a vehicle is that car donation centers don’t have a need for rusty buckets of junk.


  • As long as your tires still hold some air and the vehicle can roll, there’s a good chance that we’ll be able to take the donation.

We can haul your old vehicle away for free. Typically, we can pick up your vehicle within about 48 hours, depending on the availability of our haulers.

Our haulers are able to pick up many different types of vehicles, even if they’re no longer running. The donation experts at Rawhide will be able to let you know whether or not we’re able to pick up your vehicle. You can call 24/7/365 at 1-800-RAWHIDE.

Is it better to sell or donate a car to charity?

There are a number of benefits to donating your car to charity and choosing not to sell it privately.

Donating your car, truck, or SUV to charity will completely remove any hassle that comes with selling it privately.

Remember, the feeling you get from giving cannot be replaced.

Donating a vehicle to Rawhide ensures that your donation will be used as effectively as possible to help to hurting families in Wisconsin.

Fraud in the car donation industry

The car donation industry has an unfortunate history of fraud and deception. Rawhide was even a victim of such deception in 2017 when other organizations started using our name to redirect people to their websites.

Check our reputation for yourself: Rawhide Charity Navigator Ratings

Always do your research before donating. Take a look at other car donation organizations in Charity Navigator.

Our car donation program started in 1983. Over the last few decades, our name has become synonymous with car donations.

We process somewhere around 10,000 vehicles every year and consider ourselves the largest used car dealer in the state of Wisconsin!

Do youth and families at Rawhide actually benefit from car donations?

The at-risk youth and families that we serve are directly impacted by every single vehicle donation. We’re committed to redirecting the lives of youth in need throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Your donation will make a difference at home in your community. We’re committed to serving youth in need and their families all over the state.

Rawhide has outpatient clinics located across the state, serving all youth and their families.

  • New London, WI
  • Shiocton, WI
  • Appleton, WI
  • Green Bay, WI
  • Milwaukee, WI

Our main campus and residential care facility are located just outside New London, WI and are home to Rawhide’s residential care facility and vehicle donation program.

Rawhide’s Vehicle Donation Program through the years