Episode 84 • 03/28/2024

Howard Pearl, CEO of CARS On Fundraising, Staff Enlightenment, and Why He Fell in Love with CARS

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Sometimes, donations to a non-profit can be burdensome for the organization. Many nonprofits lack the infrastructure to accept physical assets like cars and real estate. Automobile and real estate donations allow non-profit organizations to raise large amounts of money, and allow contributors to easily donate in a more significant way.

In this episode of Associations Thrive, host Joanna Pineda interviews Howard Pearl, CEO of Charitable Adult Rides and Services (CARS). Howard discusses:

  • How CARS is a non-profit that provides fundraising services to other nonprofits. CARS takes the automobile and real estate donations slated for specific nonprofits, sells them at auction, and then remits 80% of the proceeds to the designated nonprofit.
  • How CARS uses the proceeds from the sale of autos and real estate to benefit those in need in the San Diego area.
  • How he went from interim CEO to full-time CEO when he realized he loved the CARS mission and saw the huge potential in its services and staff.
  • How the organization has grown in size threefold with virtually zero staff turnover.
  • How credit, respect, and effective management allow staff to flourish and approach their work creatively.
  • How he devotes himself to giving his staff the tools, budget, and people to get the job done.
  • How people at any level at CARS can make a decision; they will only be reprimanded for making mistakes if they repeat their mistakes. 
  • How he makes all new hires read the book “The Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan.
  • How CARS now supports nonprofits across the country.


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About Associations Thrive

Associations Thrive podcast is hosted by Joanna Pineda, CEO & Chief Troublemaker at Matrix Group International. Joanna’s personal mission and the mission of Matrix Group is to help associations and nonprofits increase membership, generate revenue and thrive in the digital space. 

We believe that every association has a unique mission and unique story that demonstrates how they’re serving their members, impacting their industry, and ultimately changing the world. Every guest is an association Chief Executive, Executive Director or President. We’re here to help amplify their stories so all associations can learn and thrive, together.

If you and your organization have a great story,  apply to be on Associations Thrive!