Why IT Asset Donation Remains Rare
Donation remains rare for a variety of reasons. Lacking the right approach, such donations are seen as an out-of-pocket expense since the alternative disposition would likely be resale. Donations also pose risks for environmental compliance since enterprise liability is not severed by the change of title at the time of donation. Also, since IT budgets rarely include a line for philanthropy, technology donations are most often ad hoc affairs, limited in scope and quality. Perhaps most important, technology donations falter because they are not aligned with enterprise strategies for corporate social responsibility (CSR)-a board-level priority for most companies-and are therefore marginal in terms of value returned to the business.With proper safeguards and procedures, supporting community organizations with technology donations aligns with CSR goals and adds substantial value for the organization.
In a recent market survey, 57 percent of responding companies report donating some surplus IT assets to charity. However, the survey also found a majority of responding companies have well-defined CSR policies and goals which are virtually ignored by the well-intentioned donors in IT.