Give the Gift of Tech: Donate Your Unwanted Gadgets

It’s estimated that 1.9 billion cell phones were bought last year. That’s around one for every four people alive. But what happens when we’re ready to go out with the old and in with the new? One person’s junk is another’s treasure. Check out these programs that will help you make a difference when you donate your old devices.

Cell Phones For Soldiers is a national nonprofit dedicated to serving U.S. troops and veterans with free communication services and emergency funding. Donations of gently-used cell phones and tablets from all wireless carriers and brands are accepted. Each donated device valued at $5 provides troops with an estimated 2.5 hours of free talk time. Since the organization was founded in 2004 Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 220 million minutes of talk time to U.S. troops serving around the world.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is on a mission to keep homes safe by spreading awareness about domestic violence, and your support by way of donating old cell phones can help shield victims from abuse; support parents fighting to protect their children from an abusive partner; and help spread nationwide awareness. NCADV partners with Cellular Recycler to raise money for their programs and also keep landfills free from e-waste. You can ship phones to the organization for free and also launch collection drives in your community. The organization also accepts laptops, MP3 players, digital cameras and video game systems.

eBay for Charity lets you sell your used devices and donate part or all of the proceeds to a charity of your choosing. eBay buyers and sellers have raised over $650,000,000 for charities through the program. You can search the site for your favorite charity or it can recommend featured organizations to you. It’s a simple process; if you’ve sold items on eBay before it’s pretty much the same, only better because you’ll be making a difference and giving back. Your listing is highlighted with the eBay for Charity ribbon, and when it sells eBay credits back the designated portion of seller fees to the charity you’ve chosen. is the largest and most comprehensive cell phone drive in the world today. Over 4,000 organizations are part of the website. Choose the organization in your local community you would like to donate or recycle your used cell phones through, by visiting the site and entering your zip code. There, you’ll be able to find local collection points and worthy causes to donate or recycle your cell phones.

When you’re ready to move on to the latest and greatest device, remember you have the opportunity to pay it forward by giving back.