You can probably donate a car to also any local synagogue. It does not have to have 501(c)(3) status per the IRS because it is a religious organization, which makes things a bit easier.
But if you’ve checked around at local synagogues and Jewish charities, and either none of them will take your car, or they are not really set up to accept cars, and so have so many requirements that it makes you want to go through the hassle of selling your car instead, don’t worry.
There are a number of national Jewish charities and organizations that are all set up to take car donations, plus boats, RVs, even airplanes and construction equipment. All you have to do is make a phone call, give them some information about your car, and they’ll send a tow truck over in a few days (sometimes less) to pick up your car. About a month to two months later, you’ll get all the documents you need to get your IRS deduction, and you’ll know that you’ve done a really nice mitzvah.
This large and well-recognized car donation site supports Joy for Our Youth, which is a 501(c)(3) charity caring for the “physical, emotional and spiritual needs of distressed at-risk Jewish youth.” JOY was established in 2000 and works within its own network as well as with dozens of other charitable organizations throughout the world. Children 6 to 18 are eligible for help, and that help typically includes education and religious guidance that takes the form of summer camps, family retreats, volunteer mentors and financial assistance to go to school. KarsforKids has received over 100,000 donations of all sorts of vehicles. You can fill out an online donation form and get the process started 24/7.
This is one of those small, very fine charities that will actually use your car – it will not be auctioned off at a huge resale event. This makes for a better tax deduction, and also the very heartening knowledge that your car will actually be used by a real person who was in need, or by one of Chabad’s employees to do their work. It can be hard to find these charities, so take a close look at Chabad for a donation.
Chabad is not a huge car donation processor, but they can still pick up cars from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Chabad also supports Jewish Youth.
If you live in LA, this is your best choice for a Jewish car donation. They can pick up the car for you, and the parent website, Charitable Auto Resources, is an accredited Better Business Bureau member. Your car will be sold at auction, after which you’ll get your tax deduction papers, and the charity will get the proceeds of the sale after the towing, processing and sale fees are subtracted. Want more money to go to charity? Drive the car to their processing facility yourself.