I know that many colleges get involved in activities with charities, and staff are often involved in charities in their private lives. Did you know that we run a scheme that allows UK charities to obtain Microsoft software free? (Well, almost free, as there is an administration charge from CTX who handle the order and supply the software)
The Computer Charity Trust is a charity with a mission to demonstrate how the effective use of technology can improve the efficiency of charities and not-for-profit organisations. As part of that it manages a software donations program called CTX, which enables charities, of any size, to access free licensed software (from Microsoft and a range of other partners). Because the scheme hasn't had wide coverage I think it’s worth a mention here, because it is actually very easy for a charity to get the software through the scheme. There are some limits (from memory, I think there is a maximum of 50 pieces of software of any particular type – eg 50 copies of Office, 50 Windows upgrades) but the scheme is designed to be very flexible, and especially useful for smaller charities.
There’s an easy to understand guide to getting started, and for each software supplier a specific set of eligibility criteria. The Microsoft eligibility criteria for charity donations is quite wide but it does exclude schools already included in the criteria for Academic licensing (yes, I know that private schools are often charities – that’s probably why we had to set the criteria to exclude them!).
There are quite a few case studies on the CTX website, which helps to illustrate what charities can do, and many of them are charities which work with children and students:
Go to the CTX website for charity software
From outside the UK? Check out TechSoup to see if there’s a similar scheme in your country, as they work in 31 others too.