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Home > Computer Articles > Donate Old Computers

Where To Donate Old Computers

Rather than discarding your computer in the nearest dumpster, the best alternative for proper management of "retired" computer equipment is to recycle it for all useful parts. However, if the equipment still works and isn't too outdated, you might want to consider donating your old computers and Used Laptops to a school or nonprofit organization.

If you've made the decision made to donate, there are a few things you need to do before boxing up your equipment and bidding it farewell. You want to make sure you have any files or applications you need before you give it away, and you want to protect your personal information.

  • Uninstall any applications you plan to use on your next computer. (Make certain you have the installation disks and serial numbers.)
  • Purge the computer of all personal information. It's not sufficient to drag documents to the Trash. Use a utility program to permanently erase or overwrite sensitive documents, then reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system.
  • Gather the original software disks and manuals for the operating system that arrived with the computer.

If you would like to get an estimate of the value of your old equipment for tax purposes, you can search eBay or other auction sites for the model of the equipment you are donating, and make sure to look at closed auctions, as well. If you wish to document the value of your donation for the IRS or other agencies, you can obtain an instant online appraisal from the industry standard Computer Blue Book for $3.99. Wherever you end up donating the equipment, make a point to get a receipt for tax purposes.

The following non profit organizations are devoted to recycling computers, office equipment, and other technology associated items. Each organization has a different emphasis and method of donation, so review these listings to see which one is most appropriate for the type of computer equipment you want to donate or recycle (also see our list of Computer Recycling Locations. Please contact them before shipping anything to ensure the item(s) meet their needs.


National Cristina Foundation

The National Cristina Foundation (NCF) maintains a database of pre-screened charitable organizations that can use certain types of computer and other business equipment for training and educational purposes. When you contact NCF with equipment you want to donate, they will check their database to see who can use it. When they find a match, they will tell you where to ship the equipment.

Donors do have to pay shipping, but NCF is qualified with the IRS to give you special tax deductions for the equipment you donate. NCF will attempt to place equipment that is up to 10 years old. Equipment older than that will generally be directed to recycling facilities.

Here is how you can contact the National Cristina Foundation:

Call 800-CRISTINA (1-800-274-7846)
Call directly to (203) 967-8000, or fax to (203) 406-9725.
Web site: www.cristina.org
Mail: National Cristina Foundation, 181 Harbor Drive, Stamford, CT 06902-7474.


Gifts In Kind America

Gifts In Kind America (GIKA) is very similar to the National Cristina Foundation, except that GIKA accepts all types of commodities, and does not restrict itself to just computer and office equipment. It offers the same tax benefits, and can accept large and small quantities.
Here is how you can contact the Gifts In Kind America:

Call directly to (703) 836-2121, or fax to (703) 549-1481.
Email: ProductDonations@GiftsInKind.org.
Web site: www.giftsinkind.org
Mail: 333 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314.


Educational Assistance Ltd.

Educational Assistance Ltd. (EAL) only accepts donations of newer computers and excess inventory from corporations nationwide. Their priority is to exchange these goods for scholarships within a national network of accredited colleges and universities. All scholarships are designated for students with severe financial need. There are no fees for EAL's services, and EAL coordinates the entire donation process.

Here is how you can contact EAL:

Call directly to (630) 690-0010, or fax to (630) 690-0565.
Send email to info@ealworks.org.
Web site: www.ealworks.org
Mail to PO Box 3021, Glen Ellyn, IL, 60138.


Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries is about people working. The organization is one of the world's largest nonprofit providers of employment and training services for people with disabilities and other disadvantaging conditions such as welfare dependency, illiteracy, criminal history and homelessness. To fund its programs, Goodwill collects donated clothing and household goods and then sells these items in more than 1,500 retail stores throughout North America and beyond.

The Goodwill network extends to virtually every corner of the U.S. and Canada, with 187 autonomous member organizations in North America. It also has 54 international associate members in 37 countries. The Goodwill Industries web site at www.goodwill.org will give you more information.


Computers for Schools

This Chicago based non-profit organization has affiliates in 34 states that refurbish donated Pentium PC's and late model Macintoshes, then distribute them to needy schools. To find out whether your equipment qualifies and how to make a tax deductible donation, or to receive more information on how the program works, visit www.pcsforschools.org, or call 800 939-6000.


World Computer Exchange

World Computer Exchange (WCE) is a non-profit dedicated to helping the world's poorest youth bridge the disturbing global divides in information, technology and understanding. WCE does this by keeping donated PC, Mac, and Laptop computers out of landfills and giving them new life connecting youth in developing countries to the Internet. The computers and networking gear connect schools in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to tech-savvy sister-schools for cultural exchanges to deepen understanding of technology and of their cultures and histories.

From companies, we seek to leverage in-kind donations of computer and networking gear, other in-kind services, and volunteers.

For more information, visit www.worldcomputerexchange.org.


Though the quantity of electronic materials that we produce as waste is increasing, the means for properly disposing of and Recycling Computers is also increasing. Whether the equipment is disposed of through a government, corporation or charity, it is critical to try and properly dispose of our old technology in order to prevent harm to our environment.

Whether you decide to donate or recycle your old computer equipment, you will have done the right thing. America can use more computers and Used Laptops in our classrooms and not in some landfill or gathering dust in a closet. So look around the house and see if you have an old computer that no one gets any use out of. Chances are, if you donate it to one of the organizations above, someone will.

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