My daughter proudly called me recently to tell me how she had rescued a dog from a shelter. “It was a free puppy!” she exclaimed. After she had to buy a bed, a leash, some treats, dog food and pay for innoculations, she began thinking that “free” puppy was getting pretty expensive.
When it comes to technology, nonprofits should be wary of “free” donations of computers. Even when computers come “refurbished”, they often have old operating systems, insufficient memory and hard disks prone to failure. So, the nonprofit winds up spending quite a bit of money to get them properly provisioned.
For approximately $400, new computers offer a pretty low cost alternative to the “free puppies”. They come fully provisioned, are faster, and come with a warranty. So, in terms of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), buying new is better than donated used equipment.