Got a car you don't want? If it is worth less than $1000 and you itemize tax deductions and you made more than $34,000 in adjusted gross income in 2010, then donating your car is probably a good financial decision. It is most certainly a good humanitarian decision, regardless of how much you can save on your taxes.
This list of Texas charities is made up only of 501(c)(3) IRS certified charities, so any donation to them is tax deductible (provided, of course, that you and the donation meet IRS requirements). These charities are also all rated by the charity review site Charity Navigator, and they have all received three or four star ratings, so you do not have to worry about them being ineffective or not handling money money well. They have passed a rigorous financial and operations review and have passed.
Finally, all the charities listed here accept cars and other vehicles, or they at least accept "gifts in kind" which includes property like cars. So if you want to donate a car to a charity in Texas, this is your list.
9244 Markville, Dallas, TX 75243
Distributes medical equipment and supplies to needy areas throughout the world. Accepts gifts in kind like "equipment, supplies, real estate, art works, books, and furnishings".
Austin Habitat for Humanity
310 Comal, Suite 100 Austin, Texas 78702
(512) 472-8788 X 401
Austin Habitat for Humanity is the local chapter of the international organization, Habitat for Humanity, which helps people build and repair their homes (among other projects). Habitat has their own vehicle donation program called "Cars for Homes". They will pick up your car and tow it for free, and manage most of the paperwork for the process.
Dallas Zoological Society
650 South R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, TX 75203-3013
Accepts gifts in kind including tangible personal property and has a cell phone recycling program. All in kind gifts are subject to the review of the Zoo. Your car would probably need to be in good running order for them to even consider it.
6065 Duck Creek Drive, Garland, TX 75043
Bill Ansel at (972) 303-5303, ext. 217
A licensed emergency shelter for abused and neglected children. Does accept gifts in kind, but typically donations are clothes, household goods, toys and books.
Interfaith Housing Coalition
5600 Ross Ave., Dallas, Texas 75206
Accepts gifts in kind, typically household goods, but does also accept real estate. If they take your car, you will get a substantially higher tax deduction because you will be able to deduct the Kelly Blue Book value of your car, not the price the car is auctioned off for (which is what happens to 90% of donated cars). So it is worth a call to see if they could use your vehicle, but keep in mind that it will have to be in usable condition.
Houston Audubon Society
440 Wilchester Blvd., Houston, TX 77079
Help the birds and delight the bird-lovers by giving your car to this charity. They have an active car donation program. All the towing, title work and tax paperwork and receipts for your donation will be handled by Car Program LLC, which is the car donation company the Houston Audobon Society uses to outsource its donated vehicles.
Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.
7911 Broadway, San Antonio TX 78209
Accepts gifts in kind. Call to discuss.
Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex
210 W. South St., Arlington, TX 76010
Has an active car donation program and is especially looking for trucks. This is a great program for donators and recipients -- it is one of those few vehicle donation programs where the vehicles actually go to real people. They also take cars that are not running (aka "junk cars"), though you will get less of a tax break. Definitely a good choice for a place to give your car to.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
2900 Louisiana, Houston, TX 77006
Has an auto donation program. They will pick up your vehicle for free whether it is running or not and will handle all the IRS paperwork and title transfer documents for you.
Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County
320 South Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Has a car donation program. They accept all vehicles regardless of age or condition. You will need to have the car's title when you call to schedule the free towing appointment.
Texas Christian University
TCU Box 297044, Fort Worth, TX 76129
Does accept gifts of personal property, but their website does not specifically mention cars.
Humane Society of North Texas
1840 East Lancaster, Fort Worth, TX 76103
Has a vehicle donation program. Your car donation will be processed by Charity Motors, which means it will be sold at auction. The Humane Society says 70% of the value of your donation will go back to them, and that is what you will be able to deduct on your taxes. When you call, be sure that your donation is credited to the Humane Society of North Texas.
4311 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75204
Helps Dallas area residents with alcohol and drug abuse, homelessness and other problems. Has a car donation program that is run through V-Dac, a car donation processor that works with quite a lot of small charities across the US. While your car will be sold at auction, not actually used by the charity, you will get free towing and good support with the IRS and title transfer documents.
Interfaith Caring Ministries
151 Park Avenue, League City, TX 77573
(281) 332-3881 ext. 1104
Accepts cars and will give them to a real person. A bigger tax break to you, but it will be more helpful if your car is in running condition.
8930 Fourwinds Drive, Suite 340, San Antonio, Texas 78239
Accepts in kind gifts.
Houston Habitat for Humanity
3750 North McCarty Street, Houston, Texas 77029
Has a car donation program. Specify that you want your donation to be credited to the Houston chapter (if that is what you want, of course).
1315 N. 15th Street, Waco, TX 76707
Does accept cars, but they will be sold as income for the mission. They also can not offer free towing, and so they really prefer your car be in running condition for it to be accepted as a donation.
1921 W. Bell St., Houston, TX 77019
Accepts in kind donations of "products and services". Probably not a likely new home for your car, but worth a call to check.
900 Portway Drive Houston, TX 77024
713-869-7722 ext. 142
Has a car donation program.
Southern Methodist University
PO Box 750402, Dallas TX 75275-0402
Accepts gifts in kind
Memorial Hermann Foundation
929 Gessner, Suite 2650, Houston, TX 77024
Accepts gifts in kind
2401 Portsmouth, Suite 210, Houston, TX 77098
Accepts gifts in kind
Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity
2800 N. Hampton Road, Dallas, TX 75212
Has a car donation program through the national Habitat for Humanity's program, Cars for Homes. They accept car, truck, boat, RV or other vehicles whether they are running or not.
Association for Community Broadcasting
4343 Elgin Street, Houston, Texas 77204-0008
Has a vehicle donation program that accepts cars, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and boats.