You have an old car; a charity wants it, will pick it up for free and sell it to support its good works. Seems like a win-win situation, right? Unfortunately, many nonprofits that have car donation programs are operated by for-profit towing companies. The towing companies pick up the car and sell it to dealers or as scrap metal, and then give a tiny portion of the proceeds to the charity. If you have a car you would like to donate to support a charity, do this instead: Sell it yourself and donate the cash you make directly to the charity. This way you know it's going to your favorite cause, and you get the full value of the cash donation for tax-deduction purposes.