How to Donate a Computer

This is part of our charitable “How To“ series. Today we are talking about computer donation. Check back for more charity, donor related instruction!

1. Make sure that the computer is in good working condition: Generally, if your computer is more than five years old, most charities will have no use for it. As the computer ages, finding software that matches it gets more difficult.

If your computer isn’t operational or has inoperable parts, there are recycling centers that evaluate the computer’s system and in some cases are able to replace the harddrive to create a useful system. Charities often don’t have the resources to refurbish a computer but would happily use a second-hand computer. If your computer is no longer useful to you, consider getting it checked out by professionals and then donating it to one of our worthy charities.

And remember, the worst thing you can do with a computer is throw it in the trash; it’s bad for the environment and in Illinois it’s illegal. Harmful chemicals found in computers, including lead, cadmium, beryllium and mercury, can leak out and poison landfills. If you decide your computer no longer has value, various electronic retailers will safely recycle your computer for you. 

2. Prepare computer for donation:  Be safe. Before donating your computer to charity, it is imperative that you wipe your hard drive clean. Luckily, there are programs you can run that permanently erase data for you. The process takes a while, so make sure you do this before promising your computer to a charity. You want to make absolutely sure that all personal data is erased before passing your computer on.

3. Find your item’s home: Whether you have a sentimental attachment to it or not, you should choose a charity that will put your computer to use. On Zealous Good’s Wishlists page search “by need” and search charities in need of “computers and computer accessories.” Computers are a popular requested donation item, with 80 of our charities currently in need of one. Youth Technology Corps is a science, math, and engineering based after-school program that introduces youth to technology principles while they learn to refurbish computers.

4. Schedule deliveryZealous Good makes it easy to connect to your chosen organization and to schedule the delivery of your donation (either pick up or drop off) that works best for you.

5. Feel good: You’ve donated your computer, gave it a loving home, and got it where it needs to be. It’s not everyday you make a difference in someone’s life. And don’t stop here! Now that you’ve got the tools there’s nothing to stop you from regularly donating and doing good!

One Comment

  1. […] you’re having trouble donating your tube tv, you can recycle it. As referenced in our “How to Donate A Computer” article, it is illegal in Illinois to trash old electronics. The U.S. Environmental […]

    December 3, 2012

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