Please read this before donating used equipment

Additional Pages:
Used Computer Donations - Minimum System Requirements
Guidelines for Used Computer Donations

Schools in Hamilton County are fortunate to have strong parental and community support. Community donations are genuinely appreciated. However, it is not always in the best interest of the schools to accept donated computers.

Donated computers often require additional expenditures of time and money for the school or the school system. For this reason, schools are encouraged to accept only those donations that facilitate the school's technology plan, are compliant with the school's computing platform, and can become viable with minimal expenditures.

Donated computers must meet minimum system requirements in order to be supported by district repair personnel. These requirements should indicate that the equipment is not more than three years old and will remain useful in the classroom for a reasonable period of time.

Guidelines for Donors

  • If your equipment meets or exceeds minimum requirements, please contact the school directly to make your donation. If you do not have a specific school in mind, contact Information Services at: (423)498-6600.
  • Be sure to remove all personal files from your hard drive before offering a computer for donation.
  • Include documentation and installation CD's for system software.
  • Be prepared to provide the recipient full rights concerning the use and disposal of the computer.
  • A letter of receipt may be requested from the school for tax purposes. This letter may contain a list of the donated items, but will not specify a dollar value for your gift.

Guidelines for Schools

Schools should follow these guidelines for accepting donated equipment:

  • Accept only equipment which meets or exceeds minimum system requirements.
  • Donated equipment should facilitate the school's technology plan.
  • Donated equipment should be compliant with the selected school's computing platform.
  • Minimal or no additional costs should be incurred to make the equipment viable.
  • Donated equipment becomes the property of Hamilton County Schools

Schools should follow these procedures for accepting donated equipment:

  • Work out arrangements with the donor for delivering and setting up the equipment.
  • Obtain full rights to use and discard equipment as the school sees fit.
  • Ultimate disposal of donated equipment is the responsibility of the school.
  • Proper disposal and/or recycling procedures should be followed. Surplus equipment will be collected one time each year by the district.
  • Donated items should be physically stamped or labeled as "DONATED."
  • Be prepared to write a letter of thanks that includes a list of donated items. It is not advisable to specify a dollar value for the donation.


Information Technology offers advice to schools concerning donations.

  • "Free" can have a high cost if you are not able to use the donation or if it will cost too much to repair an outdated system.
  • If you accept equipment which does not meet your needs, an "asset" could become a liability.
  • Depending on your circumstances, some donations may not be worth accepting.
  • You should be prepared to thank a potential donor and tell them politely that you simply cannot use their gift.

Information Technology urges schools to answer these questions to help evaluate the situation and to avoid accepting items which may not be useful.

  • Do you have staff members with computer repair skills? Are your staff repair people experienced enough to evaluate potential donations with a careful and skeptical eye?
  • Even if the computers you've been offered are in perfect working order, are they suitable for your needs?
  • Are the offered computers able to run the software you need?
  • Can you purchase the older software you need at a reasonable price? Is it still available?
  • If you accept computers which need repair, and/or repair parts, do you have someone available to perform the repairs in a reasonable time and at an affordable cost?
  • Are repair parts readily available and at a reasonable price?
  • If you don't have a skilled staff member, do you have the money to pay for repairs at a local computer repair shop?
  • If you must pay for extensive repairs, you should ask yourself if it makes any sense to spend the money to repair older systems. If not, does it make any sense to accept the donation?

Proper Disposal and Recycling of used computer equipment can be complicated and costly. This information comes from a company which has been in the electronic asset recovery business for years.

Please review our minimum system requirements