Donating Used IT Equipment to Charity

Donating Used IT Equipment to Charity


An organizations surplus used or retired IT assets may no longer appear to hold any monetary value, but you’d be surprised.  Besides, most of this equipment is just taking up valuable space in your data center, storeroom, or warehouse. Come April 15, if your organization is looking for a tax break, donating your equipment to a charity might be a great option to explore.

At We Buy Used IT Equipment, we can safely and securely recycle your old equipment and make large monetary donations to the non-profit or charity of your choice.  We can ensure you that the data on all devices will be securely erased and destroyed so you don’t have to worry about it falling into the wrong hands.

Click here to download the flowchart of our charitable donation process.

What type of equipment can be donated?

Everything. It’s that simple. All of the same items that we purchase, can also be donated.  Even if there is no cash value when looking to sell your retired assets, you may still be able to donate them for a tax write off. Every organization is encouraged to consult their tax preparation professional or accountant when choosing this option to determine the maximum amount of their tax deduction.

Here a short list of the equipment you can donate:

Storage Systems

Tape Media

Tape Libraries

Tape Drives



Disk Arrays

Blade Servers



Phone Systems

External Hard Drives




Internal Hard Drives

What do I have to do differently to donate IT equipment instead of selling it?

If you choose to donate your retired IT assets rather than sell them, you don’t need to do anything different. Just send us a list of the items you want to donate with a brief description of each item. Including things like the products numbers, quantity, condition, and even pictures can help in giving you a more accurate valuation. We will take care of the rest including all logistics and data destruction if required. 

You can send us your list of equipment to donate here.

Why should you consider donating your used IT equipment?

75% of the fossil fuels and energy used by a computer are actually consumed during manufacturing. Extending the computer’s usable life through reuse results in higher return on its initial environmental cost.

There are many people that do not have readily available access to technology. Dumping a computer into a landfill is a missed opportunity to provide technology individuals that are less fortunate.

Even if a piece of equipment has reached is end of life, it can still be recycled. Recycling IT equipment ensures that valuable raw materials are recovered and that any waste is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Learn more about e-waste recycling here.

Tips for donating your used IT equipment

1. Verify Your Used Equipment Still Has Use

With the average lifespan of a computer around seven to ten years, if your computers are less than seven years, chances are they can still be of good use to someone else. Prolonging the computer’s lifespan through reuse provides the highest environmental benefit of all electronics disposal alternatives.

2. Consider Donating Newer Equipment to an ITAD Service Provider

It may be tempting to donate used IT equipment to your favorite local school or charity, but most have specific technology needs. Partnering with an ITAD provider like We Buy Used IT Equipment may be a better option for refurbishing older equipment. We can ensure that equipment works well, runs legal software copies, and any e-waste is disposed of properly. When the refurbishment process is completed, the equipment can then be passed on to those who need it.

What is ITAD? Find out here.

3. Include Any Original Software, Documentation, and Accessories

If possible, include any accessories that go with the computers such as keyboards, the mouse, printers, modems, packaged software, or any other accessories that were used with the equipment. Organizations will be more likely to accept the donated items if these items are included. Also, keeping the Certificate of Authenticity sticker (usually on the computer) undamaged is the most important thing to remember. This sticker will allow an ITAD provider to inexpensively relicense and reload operating systems and software on the donated equipment.

4. Make Sure to Use Disk-Cleaning Software if Self-Cleaning Drives

A good way to protect against any unwanted access of personal information is to use a disk-cleaning software that destroys all data on the machine’s hard drive. However, some hackers can still get through these “erased” drives and find files that may have been missed by the software. The best option is to contact your ITAD partner and have them properly eradicate the data for you. In most cases, they can provide you with a Certificate of Data Destruction upon completion.

Learn more about different types of data destruction we provide.

5. Keep a List of What You Donated for Your Records

Whenever donating goods to a charity, it is smart to keep a list of the items donated and the value of those items so you can deduct them come tax time. Most ITAD partners can provide a tax receipt upon request if donating your equipment. Business donors can deduct the undepreciated value of equipment, and individuals can deduct the current market value of a computer. Your ITAD partner should be able to help you determine the fair market value of a computer. However, for more in depth information on tax laws related to donating IT equipment, consult your local tax professional.

Data Backup and Archived Data? What’s the Difference…


What’s the difference between a data backup and archived data?

For those new to the data hoarding world, they may not see a clear distinction between the different data storage methods currently used. The two main methods of storing data are data backup and data archive. Actually, there’s a huge difference between the both of them as well. 

For those that are oblivious of the difference between the two, they may potentially be wasting costly office space and money. Not to mention putting their data at risk. 

What is a data backup?

Data backup is defined as a copy of the initial data that is used to replace the original in the event it is lost, stolen, or destroyed. Many users may view data backup as a safety net among other things. 

A great example of data backup technology is disk storage and LTO technology. Both forms of data storage are used as backup platforms to store a previous copy of a dataset that can replace unusable or unavailable originals.

Is LTO technology right for your long-term data storage strategy?

What is archived data?

Archived data differs consists of a collection of chronological data that is seldomly retrieved. However, a data archive usually contains important data that is intended to be kept long-term for various reasons including reference and analytical applications. Archived data can also be used to free up primary disk storage space from data that is no longer actively used but must be retained.

An organization’s data backup is a copy of the original data, while its data archive is the original that was removed from its original location and stored at another site for long-term custody.

There have been a number of instances where organizations try to design their backup software to satisfy both backup and archive roles. The downside to this approach is that it can be very time consuming trying to locate a single file needed for long-term archiving from an entire backup server.

Keeping a complete backup job is not a very cost-effective way to use data storage, as backups only copy the data, leaving the original file in its place. Realistically, it wouldn’t free up any space at all.

The act of backing up data is just another way of making a copy of your already existing data, essentially using up more storage space. When the original data is moved to the data archive, storage space is increased; allowing data management to become much more efficient. 

A key difference maker between data archiving software and data backup software is the labeling and search capabilities of an accessible archive. Metadata related to archived objects is stored in a database and can be searched based on user-supplied criteria.

Enhancing both data backups and archived data with LTO technology


Backups and archives stored on LTO tape provide the industry’s most cost-effective, high-performance and high capacity data storage. Information stored on tape is largely offline, adding a layer of protection against ransomware and cyber-attacks. This layer of protection is known as an “airgap”. By utilizing an airgap in a data storage strategy, tapes can easily copied and used for offsite storage, providing a supplementary layer of protection against unforeseen disasters and cyber-attacks. 

Learn more about airgap here.

Additional benefits of using LTO tape for archiving data are:

  • Archives on LTO tape can be stored for up to 30 years or more.
  • LTO tape supports Linear Tape File System (LTFS) for native, fast access.
  • Encryption and WORM support are provided with LTO technology, increasing an already high-secure storage solution.