Donate a Computer

How do I properly donate a computer?

Thank you for generously sharing technology with those in need.

Your donated computer represents only 11% of old computers that are recycled rather than simply discarded. With your help, charities, schools, and nonprofit organizations use donated computers to help millions of people.

The information below will help to make donating a computer a simple and enjoyable process.

Donate a Computer - Refurbish or Recycle?

Donate a Computer to Computer Refurbishers - Donate computers that are less than 5 years old to a refurbisher. A nonprofit or school-based refurbisher will make sure that everything is working properly before passing the computer on to charities or schools. Click here to locate refurbishers in your area.

Donate a Computer to Computer Recyclers - Donate computers that are older than 5 years old or that have significant hardware problems to a recycler. A recycler will take the useable parts from the computer and break down everything else for recycling. Click here to locate recyclers in your area.

Erase ALL Data Before Donating a Computer

Protect yourself from identity theft. Wipe your hard drive clean before donating a computer.

Deleting files or formatting a hard drive will not erase your data! A recent study of 129 old hard drives (many of them formatted) revealed more than 5,000 credit card numbers, medical correspondences, love letters, pornography, bank account information, and other confidential data.

Before you donate a computer, use WhiteCanyon Inc.'s WipeDrive to erase all hard drive data. WipeDrive is approved by the US Department of Defense and is listed on computer donation sites such as TechSoup and the Computer Recycling Center (CRC). To erase all hard drive data, simply insert the WipeDrive CD, restart your computer, and follow the prompts.

Tax Benefits to Donating a Computer

Donate a computer to a nonprofit organization to qualify for a tax deduction.

Tax laws allow an individual to deduct the current market value of a donated computer and allow a business to deduct the un-depreciated value of a donated computer.

After wiping your hard drive, we recommend that you simply donate Windows (or other OS software) with your computer rather than reinstalling it. It is almost always the case that the operating system will be reinstalled by the person receiving the computer. Not only will you save time but you may also deduct this software donation.

Three Donate a Computer Tips

  1. Don't forget to donate computer accessories such as the mouse, keyboard, modem, and printer
  2. Don't forget to donate the computer owners manual and any hardware documentation that you have
  3. Don't forget to either contact the computer donation center ahead of time or follow their computer donation procedures

More Computer Donation Resources

The Computer Recycling Center Home Page

The Dell Recycling Program

National Cristina Foundation

FreeGeek.org