Donating Your Company’s Old Equipment: Read This First!

May 2, 2020

The average North Dakota and South Dakota business refresh cycles are on a 3-5-year plan for IT equipment turnover to help to balance budgeting against technological needs.  If you want to remain efficient and competitive, there’s no getting around equipment these upgrades.

While upgrading to the latest devices is fun, you’re left to deal with the unused electronics.  What should you do with outdated and unused equipment and devices?  You know you can’t just throw them away, as this would break myriad environmental and consumer privacy laws.

With organizations and individuals now relying on technology more than ever before,  especially in light of COVID, many companies are donating their used IT assets to those in need. Could you be opening yourself to risk by doing so?

Here’s what you need to know.

The Benefits of Donation

There are a couple of reasons to consider donating your IT assets.  First and foremost, these items can enjoy a second life, keeping them out of landfills while supporting charitable causes and communities.  In addition, choosing the right non-profit organization means you could be eligible for a tax deduction – if you simply dispose of IT assets, you won’t gain this valuable financial boon.

Security Concerns

Charitable donations are great, especially when there are so many benefits for your company.  However, you can’t ignore the potential security risks associated with donating IT equipment and devices.

Your IT assets house sensitive company and consumer data that could put you at risk for data breach and your customers at risk for identity theft.  This not only includes computers and laptops, but mobile devices and even peripheral office equipment like scanners, printers, copiers, and more that frequently contain hard drives of their own and store data, sometimes unbeknownst to the businesses that use them.

It is imperative to not donate computer equipment until this data has been completely destroyed.  This entails some time and expense, and you need to make sure it’s done right.  You can’t just delete data or degauss hard drives on your own – you need professional help to eliminate every trace, in keeping with applicable consumer privacy laws and, in some cases, industry regulations like HIPAA, FACTA, GLBA, or others.

Wiping vs. Shredding

When it comes to destroying your data, you have a choice to make: wiping or shredding.  If you are interested in donating old IT equipment, your trusted ITAD service provider can wipe data in a multi-step process that complies with applicable laws and ensures complete data destruction.

This could also pave the way to remarketing devices, if you so choose.  If, on the other hand, you decide you’re simply not comfortable with any amount of risk associated with donation, you can always opt for shredding your hard-drives for recycling, and just donating the equipment for the organization (or your ITAD donation partner) to install new drives in.


The choice is yours on which course of action is preferable for your South or North Dakota business, and how your certified ITAD service provider can best serve your data destruction needs.  Contact the qualified professionals at SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to learn more about your options and request a quote for service.


SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.