Everything You Need to Know About TechSoup Donations for Libraries

Woman working on computer in library.

Our goal for TechSoup for Libraries is to help your library get the technology it needs. Keep reading for a few frequently asked questions about our donation program for libraries.  

Q: What is the TechSoup for Libraries product donation program?

A:  Our donation program is made possible by the generosity of our donors and their desire to help nonprofits and libraries flourish with the help of technology. These partners help out by donating their wares to you through the TechSoup for Libraries product donation program. The nominal admin fee listed on the product pages represents an amount you will pay to TechSoup to support our own 501(c)(3) nonprofit operation. The other work we do alongside running the donation program is focused on creating a supportive community for libraries to come together and learn, exchange ideas, and get inspired to make each library the best it can be. Get involved today by perusing our lively blog and signing up for our newsletter.

Q: Is my library eligible for the TechSoup for Libraries product donation program?

A: We hope so! The TechSoup for Libraries product donation program is available to

  • Public libraries that have 501(c)(3) charitable status
  • Non-501(c)(3) public libraries, as long as they are listed in the IMLS database

More good news: If you are an educational library affiliated with a school or museum that has 501(c)(3) charitable status, you can also take advantage of the donation program through your parent institution.

Take our eligibility quiz if you are not sure if you qualify.

Q: This all sounds great! How can my library begin placing requests for donations?

A: We're so glad you asked. Your next step is simple: Go to the registration page at techsoup.org. Have your library's basic information and IMLS ID at the ready (the IMLS ID is an alphanumerical nine-digit code that looks something like this: FL1234-567). If your library has more than one branch, make sure to register each branch as a separate account using its unique IMLS ID. If your library has more than five branch locations, give us a shout at libraries@techsoup.org and we would be happy to register your branches for you!

Q: My library system has more than one location. How is my eligibility affected?

A: You're in luck, multi-branch libraries and large library systems! All of your library's branches are eligible for their very own TechSoup account, so each and every branch can get its own donations. Let's use Mobile Beacon as an example. If your library wanted to request the limit of 11 Mobile Beacon hotspots, you might assume that you'd have to worry about allocating these 11 hotspots between multiple branches, but nope! As long as each of your branches is registered with TechSoup, your library can benefit from 11 hotspots per branch. If your library had three branch locations total, your library system would be the proud new owner of 33 Mobile Beacon hotspots, to be distributed amongst your branches as you see fit.

Q: Is bulk registering and bulk requesting right for my library?

A: If your library system has more than five branch locations, the bulk registration and requesting program is right for you. Bulk registering and bulk requesting are complimentary services to make the TechSoup product donation experience seamless for large organizations that have multiple branch locations to juggle. Think YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and now, libraries! Please contact our team at libraries@techsoup.org so we can register your branches on your behalf and you can start requesting for your library.

Q: When it comes to subscription-based products, how often will I need to renew them?

A: The length of a subscription is listed on the product page for subscription-based products. Some products need to be renewed every year, while others have longer subscription periods. Details about how to renew are always included on the product page. For example, some products renew automatically unless you opt to cancel the subscription. Regardless, you'll typically receive a reminder from the donation provider when your subscription is nearing its expiration date.

Q: How soon after placing my request for products will I be able to implement them in my library?

A: Very soon! You can expect to receive a confirmation email once your request has been placed on the TechSoup website. Within two days, you should receive your licensing information, as well as your access key, either from TechSoup directly or from the relevant donor partner. This email will also include step-by-step instructions on how to activate your new product licenses. Keep an eye on your inbox!

Q: May I request TechSoup for Libraries products for my library's administrative department?

A: This depends on the donor's restrictions. While the vast majority of the products in the TechSoup for Libraries product donation catalog can be used by a library's administrative department, some of our donors restrict the use of their products to public access computers — one example is Microsoft Office. All information pertaining to product restrictions is found on the product page under the product's Eligibility and Restrictions tab, and questions are always warmly welcomed at libraries@techsoup.org.

Q: How do I pay for my donations?

A: This will work a lot like online shopping: Add items to your cart and proceed to the checkout page. You will be prompted to select a payment method, and voila! Your donations are on their way! If your library has more than five branches, and you've placed your requests through our team (who can be contacted at libraries@techsoup.org), we will guide you through the simple payment process. Happy shopping!

Q: What if I have trouble with my new product?

No cause for concern — we've got you covered! If you are having trouble during the requesting and checkout process, running into issues implementing your new product, please do get in touch either via email at customerservice@techsoup.org or via phone at 800-659-3579 (select option 2) during our business hours.

Got more burning questions? Ask away in the comments. 

Image: LIUSHENGFILM / Shutterstock 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.