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Help with new laptop for small charity

Morning all.  I do admin for a small charity for a few hours a month (from home), for which they pay me £900 pa and since I started with them many years ago, I've used my own laptop.  This is now at death's door, it's nearly 10 yrs so it's done fairly well.  I was wondering if anyone knew of companies which perhaps either donate or sell laptops cheaply for charities to use.  Maybe end of ranges or something.  I only need something basic - correspondence, records, internet research, simple accounts and so on - though it needs a reasonably sized screen as my eyesight isn't what it was.

If not I will buy another myself but they're a few hundred pounds so it's a big bite out of my income!  If I only needed the laptop for personal use I wouldn't bother getting another.

Any ideas gratefully received.  Thanks, Liz


  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 3,451 Forumite
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    What sort of budget were you thinking of?

    As you only have fairly basic needs, one of the cheaper laptops from HP etc., might be suitable for you e.g. this one at £199. Ideally the charity should pay for this, not you though.
  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,840 Forumite
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    Would a really cheapie tablet do the job..
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,263 Forumite
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    McKneff said:
    Would a really cheapie tablet do the job..
    Only if the OP can connect it to a half decent monitor, and as far as I'm concerned I'd want a keyboard and mouse too. I'm not well versed with tablets but if I'm writing anything I need a keyboard for it. 

    To the OP: the problem with the charity supplying you with a laptop is that there could be issues with you using it personally, just as there are already issues with you using a personal computer for the charity's business, depending on where your 'records' and 'correspondence' are stored! I know this isn't the question you asked, but is the charity complying with Data Protection requirements? 

    The charity I used to work for moved over to using laptops, but everyone also had a monitor, keyboard and mouse at their workstation, and if they were doing much WFH then they would also be lent whatever they needed for use at home. Prior to that, we had used our own laptops when WFH: that no longer happens unless it's a complete emergency. Too easy to download confidential things to your own laptop and fail to delete them later. 

    Back to the question: there are companies who offer 'recycled' IT kit to charities. I'm not sure what there is on a national level, I know we had a few schemes locally. So I'd suggest googling 'recycled laptops' plus your area and see if anything useful pops up, maybe add 'for charity'. If you get nowhere with that, contact your local Voluntary Services Council (google that plus your area) and see if they have any links. 

    One thing to be aware of, though, is that at least where I was, these laptops would be supplied running Linux rather than Windows, and using Libre Office rather than MS Office. Although everything's meant to interchange perfectly, it doesn't always. 

    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,263 Forumite
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    Just had another thought, which is that the charity may be able to find a grant they could apply for to support a small IT project or upgrade. For example, the Allen Lane Foundation
    gives mostly small grants to small charities - ours became too large for them and they don't cover London. And if they're relying on volunteers using personal devices, it may be time for that to change.

    We also had some devices from InKindDirect
    Not recently, but you never know.

    If the charity is plugged into the local charity grapevines, office equipment is sometimes given away when companies move, reduce in size, or close. 
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • Eliza_2
    Eliza_2 Posts: 1,323 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thank you so much everyone for your such helpful responses, apologies for the delay in thanking you all, I've been away.  The charity is actually a funding charity rather than a 'doing' charity, so funds others to do the actual good works.  I have a tablet but do feel more comfortable with a laptop and always add my own separate mouse.  Would really prefer one without a numeric pad too as I never use it.

    The laptop linked by Emmia looks pretty good for the price - I would pay for it myself as I wouldn't want to take money away from people we support. I will also look into the recycled laptops, thank you for the suggestions Savvy Sue.  I don't mind what operating systems or packages they have on them, I have worked with Linux and use Libre Office as my everyday anyway. And can learn anything else I need.  I looked into DP when GDPR first became a thing and I don't keep personal info (othe than the Trustees and me and that's publicly available) so I think that's covered but thanks for reminding me.  I will also look into the other suggestions you made.

    Again thank you so much, I'm sure I'll find something after all this great advice!  Liz
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