Rasmus Mortensen is the Marketing & Donations Manager at InterConnection working with hundreds of corporations across the U.S. to ensure they are in compliance with all federal and state regulations when they retire their IT Assets for charitable good. Rasmus has been working at InterConnection since 2011 and over the past three years, the organization has grown from supporting roughly 60 nonprofits every month to supporting an average of 120 nonprofits every month. Rasmus has a decade of experience in corporate communication and holds an MA in Corporate communications Aarhus University in Denmark and an MA in International Communication from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Most recently, he spearheaded a new grant program aiming to donate computers and technology to nonprofits in the U.S. and helped establish InterConnection’s Online Store for Nonprofits.
1. Can you please tell us more about your company and how you help nonprofits?
Many nonprofits struggle to make their IT budget meet the requirements of their organization. We are able to help them do just that. InterConnection is a nonprofit and we help more than 120 other nonprofits get access to affordable laptops and desktops every month. We work with more than 800 companies across the U.S. to pick up their used computers and provide them with detailed reports on data destruction, environmental savings, and recycling practices to ensure they stay in compliance with federal and state regulations for recycling and data destruction. By building partnerships with businesses across the U.S., including Microsoft, Expedia, Alaska Airlines, CenturyLink and many others, we have been able to save the environment from substantial e-waste while ensuring their old computers are used for social good. The computers are professionally refurbished at our facility and as a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher, we install new Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 license on each computer.
2. When and how did your organization get started?
InterConnection was founded in 1999 to make computers and technology available to under-served communities around the world. Since then, donors have made it possible for InterConnection to reach more than 40,000 recipients directly, impacting more than 280,000 individuals in more than 40 different countries. We started by building websites for nonprofits and soon realized that there was a great need for computers as most nonprofits struggled to get their hands on up-to-date technology. At the same time, businesses were trying to figure out how to dispose of their old IT in an environmentally sound way without risking data theft. We aimed at solving both those problems by partnering with corporations and businesses to make sure their old computers are used for social good.
3. If my organization has computers with XP, what do you recommend?
Microsoft stopped providing support for Windows XP and Office 2003 in April 2014. Microsoft will still issue virus warnings for Windows XP users until July 2015, but users will not receive new security updates, hot fixes, free or paid assisted support or any online technical content updates. InterConnection recommends all users to switch to Windows 7. In most cases, it will be more cost-efficient to upgrade the whole computer rather than buying new licenses and installing Windows 7 on the old computer. There are many options to choose from, and InterConnection offers Core 2 Duo desktops with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 starting at $149. There are many other options available at the online store for nonprofits. It is important to plan for this and to make changes soon if your organization uses Windows XP. Nonprofits often have large donor databases, they might store information on their clients and have other sensitive data. Windows XP already gets attacked 6 times more often than Windows 7 and once support ends, that number is likely to sky rocket. We are currently offering an additional discount to nonprofits that need to upgrade from Windows XP. If you use the discount code: XPEOL you will get an additional 10% discount.
4. How can we work with your organization to recycle our old computers?
InterConnection can pick up computers from any company or organization in the U.S. Minimum requirements do apply, but it depends on both the specifications of the computers and the quantity. Give us a call at 206 633 1517 ext. 114 and we can help you schedule a pick-up for your old computers and electronics.
5. What local resources in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area do you recommend for recycling computers?
If your organization has less than 50 desktops to recycle or less than 15 laptops, we recommend a local solution as it is not sustainable for us to pick them up in your area. The best resource is http://search.earth911.com/ where you can simply type in the item you need to recycle along with your zip code and find a recycler close to you. We do recommend that you team up with a local nonprofit that will reuse your old computers and no matter where you take it, make sure they have the R2 certification.
6. What happens to the computers you end up recycling?
All of the computers and electronics that we cannot reuse are responsibly recycled in the U.S. InterConnection is the first nonprofit in the U.S. to become certified with the newly updated R2:2013 Standard. The R2 Standard ensures that no e-waste is exported, all data is securely destroyed, and all our partners are required to follow that standard as well. On top of that, we get audited every year to ensure our practices and records are in compliance with the certification.
7. What other tips do you have to prevent e-waste?
Buy refurbished! Reuse is 20 times greener than recycling, so when you look for a new laptop, desktop tablet, iPod, MacBook, iPhone or another smart phone, make sure to check if there is a refurbished option that suits your needs. Not only will you save money, you will also save our planet. When you want to get rid of electronics, it is important to make sure your old electronics go to a facility that emphasizes reuse over recycling. At InterConnection, we can reuse 90% of the laptops we get in from our corporate partners and they all go into our various programs for nonprofits and low-income families. Make sure you only use electronic recyclers that are R2 certified.
8. What types of devices can we purchase through your organization?
InterConnection offers a wide range of desktops, laptops, tablets, monitors, and peripherals. You can see our full inventory at www.interconnection.org/store. If you do not find what you are looking for, please send us an email or give us a call. We work with thousands of nonprofits to make sure we have the solution they need and we can work with you to customize packages that suits your needs.
9. What are the benefits of buying through your organization, instead of another store or website?
There are many benefits to working with InterConnection. As a nonprofit, we know how difficult it can be to meet the requirements of your staff while staying on budget. All computers ship pre-installed with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010. We also believe in transparency, so there is no extra charge for shipping and we have a strict quality control process which allows us to give nonprofits a 12-month warranty on all computers bought via the online store.
10. What type of warranty do you provide on your computers?
We provide a 12-month warranty on all the computers we sell through the online store. We are a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher and on top of following their guidelines, we have implemented a 6-step quality control process to ensure every computer we ship out meets our quality standards.