News & Events

Vehicle Donation: An Effective Way to Support the Land Trust

Author: Lilly Schneider | 04/25/23

SUV on a tow truck

“Mitzi” headed off on another journey, this one on the back of a tow truck. Photo by Jon Pinnow.

How do you turn an old car into protected land? It’s a magic trick made possible by donating your car (or truck, RV, motorcycle, or boat) to Jefferson Land Trust through our nonprofit partner, CARS. Just ask Jon Pinnow and Jane Maxwell.

On a cloudy morning in February, Jon snapped pictures as his family’s old Mitsubishi SUV — affectionately called “Mitzi” — headed out of town on a tow truck, bound for the auction lot. When Mitzi is sold, the profits will support Jefferson Land Trust’s local conservation work, and Jon and Jane will receive a tax deduction.

“This car served us well and had reached the end of its time with us, and I know from my day job that car donations can make a big difference for a nonprofit,” says Jon, who works in public radio. He and Jane have donated cars to nonprofits in the past, and find it to be a great way to support a cause they believe in.

“Donating a car is a good way to give money because you can give more than you might through your checkbook, and it seems to increase the value of the car more than you’d be able to as an individual,” says Jane. “Often, when cars sell at auction, they sell for way more than you think they would.” She recalls that one of the cars they donated to a nonprofit in the past had been totaled in an accident, but was purchased for parts at a meaningful price.

SUV on a tow truck

Happy trails, Mitzi! Photo by Jon Pinnow.

You can donate your car, truck, motorcycle, RV, or even your boat to Jefferson Land Trust through CARS. Vehicle donation pick-up is always free, and most vehicles can be picked up within 24-72 hours. And, you’ll be able to deduct the donation from your taxes to the extent allowable by law.

Jon describes the process as “simple,” saying that about all he needed to do was make a phone call, remove Mitzi’s license plates, and have the title in hand. Click here to learn more and get started with an easy-to-fill-out form on the CARS website.

Jon and Jane have spent a lot of time visiting family in Port Townsend over the last 30 years, and moved here from Denver about four years ago — just before the pandemic hit. As newish residents in a locked-down town, they were excited to discover Cappy’s Trails in the Quimper Wildlife Corridor, and learned about Jefferson Land Trust by seeing our trailside signs in this place we’ve worked with our community to protect over the last 25+ years.

Rhododendron tree growing over a bend in Cappy's Trails in the QWC.

Rhododendron growing over a bend in Cappy’s Trails in the Quimper Wildlife Corridor.

“I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful it was to move here when we did and discover a whole new part of Port Townsend we didn’t know existed,” says Jon. “Going into the Quimper Wildlife Corridor and being surrounded by old trees and birds, seeing a mountain lion print on the trail, hearing coyotes and owls at night…we just really appreciate the fact that the wildness is as close as it is.”

The generosity of folks in our community like Jon and Jane makes it possible for Jefferson Land Trust to protect the beautiful natural places that mean so much to the humans, plants, and animals that share this part of the world. Please join us in thanking them for their creative giving!