In October, we introduced Under the Hood to better understand how technology oriented nonprofits in Minnesota function.
This recurring series is made possible by research partner Altrulytics and underwriter Atomic Data. Over the coming weeks we will publish individual responses, and in the end, compile an aggregated assessment of the landscape with further analysis.
Organization name: PCs for People
Executive Director: Casey Sorensen
When was your organization formed and for what purpose?
PCs for People (1998) is a nonprofit digital inclusion program that distributes thousands of computers and Internet access each year across the Upper Midwest.
Who or what organizations/companies do you serve?
PCs for People works with over 300 companies to provide free IT recycling services. We offer pickup, certified data wiping and recycling with an added bonus of helping the community. All computers receive certified data wiping, a new copy of Windows or Linux and are then distributed back to families in need. At the time of pickup all electronic recycling is accepted saving businesses time and resources.
How many do you serve and how?
Since starting, PCs for People has distributed over 35,000 computers and provided low cost internet to 14,000 families and individuals. Each recipient shows they are below the 150% poverty level and are then eligible for our services.
What are the main programs/resources that you offer?
PCs for People’s program was designed to allow everyone an opportunity to join the digital world. Access to information can be a great equalizer that most people take for granted. PCs for People has a three pronged approach to digital inclusion; computers, repair services and internet.
We also have several programs designed to increase the impact of our organization.
PCs for Kids – PCs for Kids is a program where we partner with a school to give every child the opportunity to have a home computer.
Affiliate Program – Through an affiliate program we partner with existing organizations to open new PCs for People offices.
Distribution Partners – We provide cities, counties and other non-profits with computers and internet devices to distribute to community members.
Non-profits – We have started to work with nonprofits that need low cost computers and internet service
How do you source funding and can you provide us with three years most recent tax returns?
PCs for People has developed a self-sustainable model. Revenue is generated through low cost internet, $25 computer repair and donations from computer recipients. Grant and sponsor funding is utilized for distribution events and special programs like, PCs for Kids.
What key metrics do you use and how do you measure the impact of your org?
2014 Service Impact:
8,549 PCs Distributed
2,642 Repairs Completed
6,491 New Internet Subscribers
2014 Population Impacted:
Average Homesize: 3.3
Average Children: 1.8
Average Household Income: $12,800
Total People Impacted: 47,183
Total Kids Impacted: 25,736
Do donors fund the organization as a whole, specific programs and/or something else?
PCs for People is a self-sustaining program. We are grateful for the grants we have received for special programs like PCs for Kids.
Given the options of nonprofits to support in the technology industry, what makes yours unique?
For business and recipients our service offering is unique. Business can utilize our recycling services including NAID certified data wiping, for free. This provides an opportunity to give back to the local community while saving resources. For recipients, $10 internet (per month), low/no cost computers and $25 repair is a serviceoffering that is hard to beat.
Who is on the executive board of your organization?
Andrew P. Elofson M.S., LSW: Blue Earth County
John Burns B.S. M.S.: South Central Community College
Carol Milner, Ph.D.: retired professor
Jeffery Kannas: Deloitte Consulting
Bill Coleman: Community Technology Advisors
Bill Tracey: Retired Entrepreneur
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We would like to thank the organizations, volunteers, staff and board members that have made PCs for People possible. Due to community support we have impacted hundreds of thousands of people over the last seventeen years.
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