There are two ways you can support Melwood’s programs

Melwood Vehicle Donation

For over 12 years, Melwood has operated one of the most successful car donation programs on the East Coast, processing over 200,000 vehicle donations.

When you donate your car to Melwood, expect a quick and hassle-free process. Each donor will walk away knowing that their vehicle donation will help to empower people with disabilities to transform their lives.

Donate Online

Community support makes it possible for Melwood to offer customized opportunities for people with disabilities.

We provide job training, employment, supportive services and recreation for more than 2,500 people with disabilities each year. Your donation helps us provide even more people with services that can transform their lives.


Your donation will help hundreds by providing employment and training opportunities. It is just one of the many ways that Melwood serves people with disabilities.

Impact Our Communities

Support the creation of communities that include people with disabilities in work, housing and recreation.

Impact Lives

Support job creation to empower individuals with disabilities.

Impact Our Economy

Support building a broader, more inclusive tax-paying workforce and reducing government assistance.

Financial Donations

To donate by mail or phone, please contact:

Department of Fund Development
5606 Dower House Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Heather R. Sherman, CAP, JD
Vice President, Fund Development
[email protected]
O: (301)599-4512

Melwood is a proud member of the United Way in the National Capital Area and a participant in the annual Combined Federal Campaign. You can provide your support to Melwood in the National Capital Region by designating code #8148 when donating to the United Way.

If your organization participates in the Combined Federal Campaign, you can also donate to Melwood by designating code #21166.

Your donations are tax deductible and help advocate for an empower individuals with disabilities to get job training, find jobs and more fully participate in the life of our communities.

Investment Related Assets

Contributing mutual fund assets to charity can be somewhat more complicated than donations of cash or individual securities and Melwood can help to ease the process, by working with you and your Mutual Fund representative.

Charitable gifts of mutual fund shares confer the same tax benefits as gifts of individual securities.  But there are distinctions between mutual funds and other stocks … and those differences need to be taken into account when donating mutual fund shares.

If you have questions or need assistance to make a gift of mutual funds, please

Department of Fund Development
5606 Dower House Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

[email protected]

Real estate comes in a variety of forms. Before considering some of the ways that Melwood might structure gifts of real estate to maximize value for the donor and for the donee, it’s beneficial to consider some of the opportunities and limitations of the major types of real estate.

Personal Residences

For a significant number of donors, a personal residence is the only piece of real estate they will ever own. Many people have lived in a home for many years and may be both unfamiliar with, and somewhat intimidated by the prospect of trying to sell their house to move to a retirement community.

The uncertainties of the marketplace and the details of trying to coordinate the timing of the sale with the availability of the unit in the retirement community may appear daunting.  Melwood, along with your financial advisor, can help to ease this transition by helping you to determine the best arrangement for your unique needs.  Options for donating residential property include, but are not limited to:

  • Outright Gift:  a transfer of ownership via gift deed.
  • Gift Sale:  a transaction in which the property is sold and a predetermined portion of the sale is returned to the homeowner.
  • Lifetime Tenancy:  a transaction in which the deed is transferred to Melwood, but the homeowner retains the right to reside in the home throughout his/her life.  Costs of home maintenance are negotiated between Melwood and the homeowner.

By taking on the responsibility for marketing the property, and by remaining flexible in sale timing, Melwood can often provide financial and tax benefits for the donors.

Vacation Homes

Our vacation preferences, those places we elect to spend our leisure time may change over the years. Sometimes, people find just the right spot where they return year after year that may, in fact, become a second, or even eventually, a first home. Often, the place that seemed so appealing at one stage of life, may later take on limitations that hinder the ability to explore other vacation destinations.  Or, as families mature, vacation homes may be used rarely, sitting empty for much of the year, producing no tangible benefit for the owner in the unoccupied weeks and months.

Whether as an outright gift, a gift into some life income arrangement, or a gift of an undivided partial interest entitling Melwood to use the property for a specific period of time during the year, vacation homes can often turn a financial or logistical liability into a tax savings, and a cash flow stream of far greater benefit to the donor, and produce a gift to Melwood at the same time.

Commercial Property

Commercial properties are more complex. The market for such properties is relatively narrow, and creative sales financing may become a key element to a successful gift transaction. For this reason, a team of experts in legal and marketing issues becomes even more critical when making a gift of commercial real estate.  However, these complexities notwithstanding, if all of the pieces fall into place, a gift of commercial real estate can be a tremendous boon for both Melwood and the donor.

Raw Land

Farmland:   Melwood’s mission was established on a horticultural therapeutic model, using horticulture as a way to reach and teach those with disabilities to become more self-sufficient and productive.  At the same time, as the value of farmland has grown, many traditional farming families find themselves turning to other pursuits.

Commercially Developable Property: Commercially developable, but currently unoccupied raw land can be a challenging real estate gift possibility. The process of turning raw land into developed property, and of realizing the inherent value in such property, is long and complex. Gift possibilities may occur at almost any stage in the process, from the fields of corn and soybeans to finished lots ready for sale or lease.

Melwood would be interested in discussing the possible full or partial donation of any parcel of raw commercial or farmland.

Planned Giving

Beneficiary designationsor the gifts that occur outside of the will.  This might be an Individual Retirement Account or an insurance policy. A donor can make a nonprofit the beneficiary of these financial instruments. IRAs can also simply be rolled over to a charity. For some individuals this makes sense to avoid the tax bill when they start taking money out of the IRA.

Making a nonprofit the beneficiary of an insurance policy is sometimes done by a donor whose children or spouse will not need the funds; or by a donor who would love to leave more money than he can actually afford to a beloved cause. Insurance policies can also be cashed out and donated to Melwood.  Working with Melwood’s Director of Major Gifts, the donor’s own financial planner sets up the instruments.  If you have made or are interested in speaking with someone about making a beneficiary designation naming Melwood, please contact Donor Administrator,  by Telephone: (301)599-4512 or [email protected]

A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is a tax-exempt trust that can liquidate an asset to create two interests: Income Interest, and Remainder Interest. The income interest is paid out to a designated beneficiary (such as the creator of the trust) for a lifetime or at the conclusion of the term, and the remainder interest is passed on to Melwood.

Who does it work for?

Charitable Remainder Trusts are a powerful tool that can address many personal financial goals while facilitating a significant gift to Melwood. Anyone who is subject to paying capital gains taxes on appreciated assets, whose estate is subject to estate taxes, would like to benefit charity, and has a need for income is a candidate to benefit greatly from a CRT.

A Charitable Lead Trust (CLT) is an irrevocable agreement in which a donor transfers assets to a trust that creates an income or lead interest for Melwood. The trust’s remainder interest either comes back to the donor or passes to some other non-charitable beneficiary-typically the donor’s heirs.

Who does it work for?

A Charitable Lead Trust is a powerful charitable planning tool used to generate an income tax charitable deduction or a gift or estate tax charitable deduction. A CLT is often used by individuals who have a significant income event or anticipate high estate and gift taxes in transferring their wealth to heirs.

An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is a trust that is designed to hold life insurance policies. The purpose of an ILIT is to transfer ownership of the life insurance policy from the policy holder to an irrevocable trust in order to release the policy holder of the burden of estate taxes on the proceeds of the policy.

A donor establishes a trust, then transfers a new or existing insurance policy to the trust. The donor then transfers liquid assets sufficient to pay the first year’s premium to the trust. Each year, the donor makes a gift to the trust sufficient to pay the premiums due. At death, the life insurance proceeds are paid to the trust and distributed to beneficiaries under the terms of the trust.

Who does it work for?

An Irrevocable Life Insurance trust may be the right planning tool for a donor who has a desire to replace value of assets gifted to charitable entities in their estate. Donors who are sufficiently insured, but wish to purchase additional life insurance while keeping it out of their taxable estate may be good candidates for an ILIT.

Since the ILIT, and not the donor, owns the policy, the insurance proceeds will not be included in the donor’s federal gross estate. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts are generally structured so that the initial gift and subsequent gifts to the trust qualify for the annual gift tax deduction.

Non-Monetary Gifts

Corporate & Foundation Donors

Donation Information and Secure Transactions

Transaction security: When you donate to Melwood via our website, your donation information is encrypted and transmitted by way of a secure connection. Melwood uses your credit card information only for the purpose of processing your donation, and it is not disclosed for any other purpose.

Donation page: When you donate to Melwood, we collect credit card and contact information necessary to verify and complete the transaction, as well as your communication preferences. We will follow those preferences in using your personal contact information to send you future mailings.

Vehicle Donations:
Melwood’s Vehicle Donation Program accepts all Cars, Trucks, Motor Cycles, RV’s, regardless of the age or condition of the vehicles. As a rule of thumb, if there is a vehicle title, we can accept the donation. All vehicles that are donated MUST have a clean title and must provide that title information. Once Melwood receives notification of the pickup, a receipt is issued to the donor. Once the vehicle is sold, Melwood will provide an acknowledgement letter, along with the IRS 1098C form indicating the sale amount of the vehicle.

Without specific documentation and an IRS 1098C form, the maximum a donor can claim for a donated vehicle is $500. In general, the IRS limits the tax deduction to the gross proceeds from the sale of the car, truck, or other vehicle. Charitable contributions must be itemized on Schedule A of Form 1040 to qualify. If the gross proceeds exceed $500, Form 1098C “Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes” and Form 8283 “Non Cash Charitable Contributions”, must also be completed and attached. As required by IRS regulations, Melwood produces and transmits Forms 1098C and 8283 to the donor within 30 days of the sale of the vehicle.

Donation files containing personally identifying donor information, including donors’ social security numbers, are maintained by Melwood for a period of 3 years as required by IRS regulation.

General security: To protect your personal information, we use technologies and processes such as encryption, access control procedures, network firewalls, physical security and other measures. These measures increase the security and privacy of information traveling to, from and within Only our authorized employees or agents carrying out permitted business functions are allowed to access personal information.

Updating your personal information
You may contact us any time to review the personal information we have on file and or to request corrections at:

Donor Administrator
5606 Dower House Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Telephone: (301)599-4512
[email protected]

In addition, if you signed up to receive any of our online newsletters or communications, you received a welcome message immediately after you signed up. It contains a web address where you can access and update your online account information.

Notice to contributors:

Financial and other information about Melwood’s purpose, programs and activities can be obtained by contacting Melwood at 301-599-8000 and at 5606 Dower House Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 or for residents of the following states as stated below. FLORIDA: A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free, within the state, 1-800-HELP-FLA or via the internet at http://www.FloridaConsumerHelp.comMARYLAND: For the cost of postage and copying, documents and information filed under the Maryland charitable organizations laws can be obtained from the Secretary of State, Charitable Division, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401. MISSISSIPPI: The official registration and financial information of Melwood may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office by calling 1-888-236-6167. NEW YORK: A copy of the latest annual report can be obtained by writing to Melwood, 5606 Dower House Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 or from the Attorney General Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.NORTH CAROLINA: Financial information about Melwood and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 1-888-830-4989 (within North Carolina) or 919807-2214 (outside of North Carolina). PENNSYLVANIA: The official registration and financial information of Melwood may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of state by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. VIRGINIA: Financial statements are available from the State Division of Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218. WASHINGTON: Melwood is registered with the Secretary of State, information relating to our financial affairs is available from the Secretary of State at 1-800-332-4483. WEST VIRGINIA: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305. CONTRIBUTIONS ARE DEDUCTIBLE FOR FEDERAL INCOME TAX PURPOSES IN ACCORDANCED WITH APPLICABLE LAW. REGISTRATION IN A STATE DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATIONS OF MELWOOD BY THE STATE.

Explore Our Programs

Learn more about our efforts in support of our mission and vision.

Vehicle Donation Program

For over 16 years, we’ve operated one of the most successful car donation programs on the East Coast, processing over 200,000 vehicle donations.

Donate Today