Are you wondering if it's possible to donate old computers from your office or home to a charitable organization? While not every nonprofit has a use for secondhand computers, many organizations will be happy to receive this type of donation.
Putting Old Computers to Good Use
Many companies and individuals purchase new computers so they can upgrade to the latest software applications and technology, leaving old computers that are no longer needed even though they are fully functional. While selling the computers that you no longer need might be your first choice, this type of equipment depreciates very quickly. If you are able to find a buyer, chances are that you'll only be able to get a small fraction of the original purchase price.
Because used computers are difficult to sell, many people feel that investing time and energy in trying to find buyers is not a good way to spend their time and energy. Often, old computers are simply set aside, or are even thrown away, when they have been replaced with newer models. Rather than allowing assets that someone might be able to use to sit and gather dust on a shelf or in a closet, it makes sense to donate any computers that you no longer need to a nonprofit organization that accepts electronic equipment.
Where to Donate Old Computers
Many different types of organizations may accept donations of secondhand computers that are in working condition, whether or not they have the latest software and technology features. A few examples of the types of organizations you may want to contact are detailed below. Be sure to call and ask if the donation can be used before showing up with a car or truck full of equipment.
Public and private K-12 schools may accept donated computers for student or faculty use. They may use them in classrooms, in the library, or in faculty break rooms. Colleges, especially ones that teach computer technical support or computer repair, may accept old computers to use as instructional machines.
Senior Citizen Centers
Senior citizen centers that offer computer training for members or that set up computer labs for members to use to surf the Internet, check email, and perform other tasks may accept donated machines.
Boys and Girls Clubs
Boys and Girls Clubs offer a variety of back to school programs for local youth. If one of the clubs in your area does not already have a fully stocked computer lab where kids can do their homework or learn computer skills, the organization may be thrilled to hear you say that you'd like to donate old computers.
Thrift Stores Operated by Charitable Organizations
The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and other charitable organizations often operate thrift stores as a way of raising money to fund their operating expenses and programs. If you donate your equipment to a charitable organization that runs a thrift store, it is likely that your items will be offered for sale at a price significantly lower than retail. This will provide low income families with an affordable way to purchase a computer while also helping an important charitable organization earn money.
Women's shelters provide a safe haven for women and children who flee abusive home situations. People who find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to leave home and go to a women's shelter often leave with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. In addition to providing safe accommodations, shelters try to create a living environment that is as normal as possible to help residents get back on their feet. This includes setting up play and homework areas for children, as well as providing clothing, toys, and other items that will be needed as the residents prepare to live independently again. Donated computers may be accepted for use at the facility, or to be given to residents as they move out and set up housekeeping on their own.
Disaster Relief Agencies
Organizations that provide disaster relief often work with people who have lost their homes to hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, and other misfortunes. Some of these types of organizations accept donations of goods that can help affected people begin to rebuild their lives. Providing someone who has lost everything with a working computer is one small step toward helping life return to normal for individuals coping with these types of situations.
Benefits of Donating Computer Equipment
Donating old computers is a great way to support a nonprofit organization in your community, either by providing much-needed equipment or by allowing the organization to raise money by selling the items that you donate. It's also an environmentally responsible alternative to sending electronic equipment that you no longer have a use for to a landfill. There are also financial benefits, since donations of equipment to recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are tax deductible.