Technology Services
Computer Donations Guidelines

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) continually seeks to expand the technology resources available to students and teachers.  We purchase as many new computers as our budget permits.  Therefore, we are seeking partnerships with local corporations to place donated computers in classrooms.  CMS Technology Services believes that the investment CMS makes on donated computers is based on sound educational decisions that impact the instructional program, not on the availability of the donated computers. 

Donation Guidelines

  • Schools that wish to accept computer donations must coordinate efforts with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools Foundation & Strategic Partnerships Office (980-343-6245 or e-mail cip). 
  • All donations include the Windows XP operating system as part of the donation (based on Certificate of Authenticity for Pentium IV or higher processors referenced in the Community MAR Americas Program.)
  • The receiving school is responsible for securing funding for costs associated with placing donated computers in classrooms.  These costs include the purchase of instructional software, installation, additional hardware if needed, and infrastructure upgrades.  If the school is not able to secure the necessary funds, the donation project will be terminated.
  • CMS will accept only HP/Compaq and Dell computers.  Donated computers must be business models; not home models.  The minimum hardware standards for donated computers are:

Computer Donations Minimum Hardware Standards
Manufacturer  - HP/Compaq
Processor  - Intel Pentium IV or AMD
Memory -  4 GB
Cache -  512 KB
Hard Drive -  120 GB
CD-RW/DVD
Sound -  16-bit Sound Blaster Compatible
Input -  Mouse, Keyboard
Ethernet Card -  10/100/1000 BASE-T
Monitor -  17”, 19" or 22" XGA
O/S -  Windows 7

  • The cost of purchasing and installing the following required software on each computer is the responsibility of the receiving school.

Required Software Licensing for Donated Computers (estimated cost $156.00)
Elementary Schools: Microsoft Office
Middle & High Schools: Microsoft Office
Symantec Anti-Virus Corporate Edition
SMS and Windows Client

The following is an outline of the donation process:

  1. Corporation contacts Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools Foundation & Strategic Partnerships Office or School.   Schools contacted directly by a corporation wishing to donate computers will notify the
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools Foundation & Strategic Partnerships Office.
  2. Corporation completes an inventory form listing model and serial numbers of computers and sends to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools Foundation & Strategic Partnerships Office.
  3. CMS Technology Services reviews the inventory to determine if computers meet standards.
  4. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools Foundation & Strategic Partnerships Office informs the corporation that the donation is approved or declined for classroom use.  If donations do not meet minimum standards for classroom use, the computers may be approved for the Computer Access to Neighborhoods (CAN) Program.
  5. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools Foundation & Strategic Partnerships Office or receiving school will arrange with corporation for approved * computers to be delivered.  The receiving school is responsible for storing the donated computers.
  6. Schools that choose to accept donated computers must utilize a CMS-Approved Systems Integrator for the configuration and installation of these machines.  Contact the Instructional Technology Department for vendor information.

* Approved implies that the receiving school has teamed with CMS Technology Services to determine the total cost of ownership, has funds for the expenses that will be needed to ready computers for classroom use, and understands limitations of donated equipment.  The estimated cost for readying a donated computer for classroom use is approximately $156 per machine.  This estimate does NOT include any additional infrastructure costs such as electrical upgrades, network cabling and/or electronics, air conditioning upgrades, or furniture. These costs will need to be assessed on a case by case basis.