How to Donate Computer Software

By Bonnie Conrad

If you are upgrading your computer and your software, chances are you have a box of old computer parts and old software lying around. It can be difficult to know what to do with that old hardware, and donating it to charity can be an excellent choice. But there are a number of things to consider before you cart that box of diskettes and CDs to your local thrift store.

Contact local thrift stores. Thrift stores often sell old software--both to provide the poor and disadvantaged with low-cost computer equipment and to raise money for the services they provide in the community. Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army are two of the largest thrift store operators in the country, but there are a number of local and regional organizations that operate thrift stores and accept donated software.

Check classified ads. Many newspaper classified ads sections have a space reserved specifically for computers, so look there for any computer recyclers in your area. These recyclers typically accept unwanted hardware and software from the public and use them to build quality computer systems for those in need.

Check the value of your old software by doing a search of completed auctions on eBay and other popular auction sites. You will need to have an active eBay account to check the closing prices of past auctions, but setting up an account is free and takes only a couple of minutes. You will need to know the fair-market value of the software you donate if you plan to take a deduction on your tax return.