Good news. For awhile now, we at TechSoup (parent organization to the MaintainIT Project) have been working with our corporate partners to open more donation programs to public libraries. In the past year, software donations from Symantec, NOZA, and others have become available to public libraries for the first time. Today we’re happy to announce that discounted computers are now available to public libraries through our Refurbished Computer Initiative (RCI).
The Refurbished Computer Initiative supplies low-cost, warrantied, refurbished desktop and laptop computers through TechSoup Stock’s Web site to nonprofits and libraries anywhere in the US. The equipment is state of the art and refurbished by Redemtech, an industry leader in asset recovery. RCI also offers free end-of-life recycling when you’re done with the equipment.
Buy your computers new or buy them used? It’s a controversial topic and I’ve heard strong opinions expressed on both sides, so I’ll stay out of that debate for now. But if the technology budget at your organization is shrinking and there’s no relief in site, be aware that paying $1000 for a new P.C. isn’t your only option. RCI offers refurbished desktop computers ranging between $190 and $250; laptops between $380 and $460 and monitors for $115. Each computer comes with Windows XP Professional (or Windows 2000 if you prefer), Microsoft Office 2003, a new keyboard, a new mouse, and a 90 day full warranty.
Furthermore, these computers are business-class machines, formerly owned by corporations and designed to last longer than consumer-grade, home-use equipment. In our experience, they last three to five years on average.
For more information, visit our RCI Products page, the eligibility requirements and restrictions page, and the RCI FAQ. Our latest Cookbook, Planning for Success, also has some suggestions on buying refurbished equipment.