A quick follow up post on the announcement of the Technology Donations programme last month.

[Quick recap: the programme, which is supported in Ireland by Microsoft, Cisco and Symantec provides local non-profits with access to technology donations]

A few people have been in touch to ask if the programme includes hardware donations.

Currently the programme does offer hardware from Cisco, but not PC hardware.

Hopefully over time other technology providers, including PC manufacturers will come on board, but right now it's only products from Microsoft, Symantec and Cisco.

However we do have an alternative: The Community MAR programme.

Launched last August, the Community MAR (Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher) programme aims to:

"increase the number of low-cost computers available to charities and schools, while also keeping serviceable computers out of landfills.  The provides companies with a means of disposing unused or end-of-life computer equipment which can then be serviced, re-conditioned and installed with new software. These computers can then be donated to a charity or school who might not otherwise be able to afford technology to access the information age."

The computers are refurbished by third parties such as Rehab Recycle. Microsoft provides new software for those PCs.  The refurbishers looks after the servicing, distribution etc.

There are are currently three refurbishers signed up to the programme in Ireland which is open to non-profits and schools.

You can find and contact the local Irish refurbishers at the central Microsoft Community MAR website. [Navigate to: Europe - Ireland and then click on the "Directory" link on the left-hand column.]

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Pictured: PCs being refurbished at Rehab Recycle's facilities in Dublin