Should My Business Donate Laptops?

To donate your outdated, end-of-life hardware to those in need is probably something many in enterprise corporations have thought about at one point or another. It’s great technology going to a great cause; why hesitate? You know you’re giving for the greater good, and you are still multiplying the good left in those laptops.

But the truth is there are many nuances and obstacles towards using direct donations as your company’s primary means for IT Asset Disposition. Before we get there..

Little known fact in the world of technology: The 1991 hit single “Give It Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was about IT Asset Disposition.

Red Hot Chili Peppers on Donating & Asset Disposition

What I’ve got you’ve got to give it to your mamma
What I’ve got you’ve got to give it to your papa
What I’ve got you’ve got to give it to your daughter
You do a little dance and then you drink a little water

Give it away give it away give it away give it away now
Give it away give it away give it away give it away now
Give it away give it away give it away give it away now

Moms, dads, daughters, neighbors, non-profits and schools all would gladly have you give it away now and you’d certainly do a little dance once the gear was gone.

Giving away out-of-warranty IT gear is good.
Giving to a qualified 501c3 organization creates some attractive tax incentives.
Giving empowers non-profits, education and a host of other organizations to multiply the good.
Giving extends the life of IT hardware and keeps it out of the landfills.
Giving creates a company culture of generosity that is infectious.
Giving allows for social sharing.
and let’s be perfectly honest:
Giving moves the old stuff out and the new stuff in.
Giving just feels good.

We’ve Got Our Groove On, Now Let’s Get a Move On!

Unfortunately, donating hardware isn’t as easy as dropping off your Member’s Only jacket and favorite pair of Zubaz at the local thrift store.

Giving time to respond to, engage with, and coordinate donation specifics can become overwhelming.

Giving away sensitive employee information, company trade secrets, and customer data on improperly erased drives probably isn’t what was intended.

Giving up your technicians’ time to sanitize drives, image, and prepare devices for donations can be a distraction.

Giving resources towards acquiring and implementing auditable, secure enterprise-level data erasure software could be costly.

Giving technical support to organizations that aren’t as tech-savvy after the donation may cause some friction.

As activists for social good, donating, and giving, the Red Hot Chili Peppers may have been way ahead of their time (although it’s possible the song has absolutely nothing to do with retiring outdated computers!). While there are immense benefits to giving it away now, the above hurdles have to be considered before you do a little dance and drink a little water.

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Read More: 5 Ways to Manage IT Asset Disposition