The place for nonprofits, charities, and libraries

The Refurbished Computer Initiative Program

Refurbished Computer Initiative Logo 

The Refurbished Computer Initiative (RCI) program at TechSoup provides high-quality refurbished desktops, laptops, servers, and other hardware to eligible nonprofits, charities, and libraries by partnering with computer refurbishers and corporations. These partners share an interest in supporting social change through technology and creating environmentally friendly alternatives to disposing of used equipment.

Subject to availability, products offered through RCI are from top manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Lenovo. All products meet the rigorous standards of corporate users, not home users. TechSoup's refurbisher partners guarantee that all equipment is in excellent working condition and has undergone thorough testing, repair, restoration, and cleaning.

Eligibility and Restrictions

If eligible, your organization may receive an unlimited number of products within a fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). However, each request may include no more than 10 of any individual product.

Consult the eligibility and restrictions page to review your organization's eligibility to participate in this program.

About RCI Refurbisher Partners

The Refurbished Computer Initiative (RCI) at TechSoup connects top computer refurbishers with nonprofits, charities, and libraries across the country. TechSoup's refurbisher partners bring industry expertise and a commitment to serving the social benefit sector.

Interested in donating hardware through RCI? Learn how: Become a Refurbished Computer Initiative (RCI) Donor



About RCI Products

Hardware Specifications

The RCI program at TechSoup offers high-quality refurbished desktops, laptops, servers, and other hardware solutions.

Each computer can perform basic tasks such as creating documents, web browsing, and email. Mid- and high-tier computers include more powerful processors and greater storage capacity, allowing for greater multitasking and running more resource-intensive applications. For more information on the different tiers of computers in the RCI program, see the RCI catalog.

Please note that not all systems have the same software and hardware configuration or system restore options. Review individual product pages to see the specifications of each product.

As more products become available from an expanding number of donor and refurbisher partners, we expect to regularly enhance our basic computer configurations.

Quality Standards

Our refurbished machines are built to the high-quality specifications of corporations and designed for office applications. Their central processing units (CPUs) are intended to be more durable than those manufactured for home use. Our extensive research of such equipment indicates that these refurbished systems usually last three to five years and experience fewer problems and failures than their consumer-oriented counterparts.

Refurbishers in the RCI program must stand behind their products and adhere to strict quality standards. Our refurbished equipment failure rate consistently remains below the industry standard for new products. All products are guaranteed for 90 days to be clean, free of major defects, and in working order. Computers are cleaned inside and out, missing and broken parts are replaced, and each product is rigorously tested.

Product Condition

As with many refurbished computer programs, RCI categorizes equipment based on its condition:

  • Condition A: The product meets the highest functional and cosmetic standards of refurbished equipment.
  • Condition B: The product may have cosmetic defects that do not affect its operability. Typical cosmetic defects might include wear on keyboards and hand-rest areas, minor screen blemishes, and scratches and nicks on the outer case.

All refurbished equipment available through TechSoup is Condition A unless Condition B is specified in the product name.

Windows Computer Categories

To help organizations choose the products that best fit their needs, each refurbished computer is organized into one of three categories: low-tier, mid-tier, or high-tier.

Tier Description
High-tier High-tier computers can perform all the same tasks as low- and mid-tier equipment and can handle more resource-intensive tasks such as web publishing, advanced image editing, and video editing. They have more powerful processors and greater storage capacity and are more suited for faster-paced working environments.
Mid-tier Mid-tier computers can perform all the same tasks as low-tier equipment and are better equipped for multi-tasking. They support more complex tasks like basic image editing and creating presentations.
Low-tier Low-tier computers are intended for performing individual tasks such as web browsing, word processing, creating basic spreadsheets, and writing emails. They have lower processor speeds and smaller storage capacities.

Administrative Fee

RCI program administrative fees include all shipping and handling. Sales tax may apply separately.

Read more about administrative fees in the TechSoup Product Donation FAQ.

Case Studies

Read how nonprofit organizations have made use of desktops, laptops, and servers received through the RCI program:

Environmental Benefits

TechSoup considers RCI a green program because it puts useful technology in the hands of nonprofit organizations and public libraries, saving it from an early disposal. To learn more about technology choices that can help reduce our overall impact on the environment, see TechSoup's Green Technology page.

About the RCI Program

Recipient Agreement

If you request an RCI system, you'll need to accept the Registered Refurbisher Program Eligible Recipient Agreement. Microsoft donated its software for RCI computers through its Registered Refurbisher Program, and the Eligible Recipient Agreement is a statement that the computer recipient meets Microsoft's eligibility criteria for this program and will use the software only as it was intended.

The agreement is provided electronically, and each recipient organization must accept it when first starting each computer. Note that TechSoup restricts this product to organizations that qualify as eligible recipients.

More than 10 Products

If eligible, your organization may receive an unlimited number of products within a fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). However, each request may include no more than 10 of any individual product.

If you need more than 10 products at the same time, you can make special arrangements with RCI staff, subject to inventory availability. On weekdays (excluding holidays), call (800) 659-3579, option 2; email; or fax (415) 633-9444.

Multiple Locations

If your organization has multiple locations, each location should be registered individually with its own account and donation history. If your branch or affiliate has its own Employer Identification Number (EIN), you should register using that number. If all branches share the parent organization's EIN, use that number when registering your location. There's no limit to the number of affiliates or locations for each organization.

Please note that we may require additional information from you to determine branch or satellite eligibility.

Refurbisher Partner Policies

RCI is able to supply desktops, laptops, servers, monitors, and printers to nonprofits, charities, and libraries thanks to our generous refurbisher partners.

Each of our partners has its own policy regarding shipment, returns, and recycling. Each RCI product listing indicates which refurbisher partner provides that product. See RCI Refurbisher Partner Policies to know what to expect when requesting products through RCI.

Shipping and Fulfillment

Since we have more than one refurbisher partner, your products may be sent from different locations and arrive at different times.

For detailed information on each partner's shipping policies, see RCI Refurbisher Partner Policies.

Please note that we cannot ship to post office boxes. If your organization's shipping address is a post office box or is different from its physical location, your request will be shipped to the organization's address.

Exchanges and Missing Equipment

If the products you receive are not exactly what you requested, please refer to our returns page for information on how to initiate your return.

If you received a product you did not request, or the product you received does not meet the minimum specifications cited on the TechSoup website, we will work with our refurbisher partners to arrange for the item to be returned to their facilities at no cost to you and for the correct item to be shipped to you.

If the equipment you received is missing any parts or components that should have been included with the original shipment, we will work with our refurbisher partner to send you the missing items.

Please note that to maintain our low administrative fees, we cannot accept exchanges for any reason other than those cited above.


You can return nonfunctional, damaged, or incorrectly shipped products within 90 days of the date of delivery for a replacement or refund at no additional charge.

For detailed information on RCI product warranties and returns, see RCI Warranty and Returns Information.


When RCI desktops, laptops, and servers finally reach the end of their useful life or become obsolete, you have a no-cost, secure, and environmentally safe solution to dispose of them. All RCI computers distributed after January 2009 have a Recycle Me Free! sticker that makes them eligible for free recycling services and pickup. These services are provided at no additional charge by each of our refurbisher partners.

Each of our refurbisher partners has its own procedure for recycling products.

For detailed information on each partner's TakeBack procedure, see Free RCI End-of-Life Recycling.