The place for nonprofits, charities, and libraries

Donating used or unwanted tech

  • If you're a nononprofit, school, library or other mission-based organization, and cannot accept offers of used or donated tech from volunteers or businesses, there are lots of places you can steer these donors to:

    "If you’re feeling the holiday spirit, you might even want to donate your computer or iPad to charity. Computers with Causes will match your unwanted desktop, laptop or iPad with someone in need, while the Hollyrod Foundation is often looking for iPads to help kids with autism. Recycling for Charities will either refurbish your nonworking electronics for charity or dispose of them in an environmentally safe way."

    The above is an excerpt from

    In addition, many Goodwill stores in the USA will accept computer donations - and some stores have a particular focus on tech-offerings.

    In England, Computer Aid International, a charity, accepts computer / tech donations, refurbishing them for charities in England as well as initiatives in developing countries.

    Nice news to share in your newsletter to donors and volunteers!

  • Revisiting this topic almost a year later - there seems to be more places to donate used tech equipment, including cell phones, to support nonprofits, schools, etc. Some recent finds:

    The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence partners with Cellular Recycler for the collection of used cell phones and select digital electronics. "We receive a portion of the monies that come from the sale of refurbished cell phones to support our programming that helps stop violence in the home." Cellular Recycler's mission is "to create a nationwide cellular recycling program to keep valuable cellular equipment out of landfills. Their warehouse is one of the only facilities in the world dedicated to cell phone recycling that is ISO 9001:2000 and IAER certified." 

    Verizon Wireless also accepts donations for its HopeLine program, which "puts the nation’s most reliable network to work in the community by turning no-longer used cell phones into support for domestic violence victims and survivors."

    Note that neither of these programs promise that phones will go to survivors of domestic violence - but, rather, that their refurbishment and sale will go to various nonprofits. 

    Any other donate-tech-to-help-charity programs that have gotten your attention?

  • Electronic Access Foundation is currently seeking donations. We redistribute working computers to other charities and nonprofit organizations.

  • In donating computers especially, I would advise against places such as Good will, expecially unless you have wiped the harddrive by govt wipe.  My program in Hernando County, Fl. has

    a tech who wipes the harddrive then reinstalls windows, and programs needed for the education

    of students in our community.  We are partically careful not to release a computer that hasn't been wipe.  Mary L Scarff-(352) 596-1552 (note we are not a 501-3 c non profit), our meager donations do not allow the cost of obtaining a 501-3c.  Thanks

  • On a side note, you said:

    "a tech who wipes the harddrive then reinstalls windows"


    "our meager donations do not allow the cost of obtaining a 501-3c"

    But it does allow you to buy Windows for all your computers? Sounds like you might want to switch to Ubuntu and other FOSS tools, like OpenOffice. The money you save would MORE than pay the very, very meager costs of obtaining a 501 (c)(3) status.

    Also, Goodwill is a wonderful place to donate computers - but no matter what you do with old computers, whether donate them to others or dispose of them in an environmentally-sound way, you should always wipe all of the memory clean.

  • TecsChange in Boston refurbishes computers for organizations.  See for a current list of what we are looking for.


    Charlie Welch

    for TecsChange

  • Thanks for writing, Charlie! Here is a list on the TechSoup forum of similar initiatives in cities throughout the USA, like FreeGeek in Portland, Oregon, and Communitech in Massachusetts.

    And here's another TechSoup thread on this subject. Clearly, anyone who thinks there's no longer a market for refurbished computers is, well, wrong! 

  • I've been buying used Lenovo Thinkpads on ebay lately for our education-focused nonprofit, and doing the refurbishing myself.  I've been amazed at the deals I'm finding: T60 laptops for $20 to $80, just needing odds and ends (batteries, hard drives, ram).  Thinkpads are so popular that it's easy to find low cost new and used components for them.  I've also asked every ebay dealer I've purchased from to consider donating stuff to us, and so far one was very agreeable.  So, you never know!

  • also re-TASKs computers to do environmental and disease research.  They take BROKEN computers as donations that most refurbishers won't.   (They take working ones too and its for a great cause)