What does a Colorado Springs’ company do with $580,000 worth of used, but perfectly good, Konica Minolta Bizhub copiers?
Donate them to nonprofits, of course.
Bircham’s office supply store won a Fort Carson contract during 2009 to install 462 new copy machines and remove 390 copiers that are several years old. Bircham’s finished installation during December.
The machines could be sold for about $2,000 each — but instead they are making their way into nonprofit offices in Southern Colorado.
The company has “scrapped” about 100 of the copiers that are “high-mileage,” with a 600,000- to 800,000-page count.
Most of the Bizhub copiers being donated have a page count range between 200,000 and 400,000 — some have far fewer.
Nate Zoch, director of sales and business development at Bircham’s, said the copiers are being “fully cleaned, refurbished and are as close to new as possible,” before being installed.
So far, 28 nonprofits have received copiers, including Colorado House and Resource Center, Christian Ambassadors, Liberty Band Boosters at Liberty High School, Covenant of Faith Ministries, Lighthouse Ministries and the Center for Hearing, Speech and Language.
That leaves about 262 copiers that still need a good home.
The Pikes Peak region has more than 2,000 nonprofits, so all the copiers will likely be put to use soon.
Lee Ann Lizzul, audiologist and director of the Center for Hearing, Speech and Language in Colorado Springs, said the donation “just makes life easier around here.”
The center’s other copier was 13 years old, and paper had to be manually fed into it.
“This is definitely an upgrade — it does double sided copies and even collates,” Lizzul said.
Bircham’s also will haul away older copiers for nonprofits receiving donated copiers.
“The good news is — if a nonprofit needs this device — it’s quick and simple,” Zoch said. “Some of them are ecstatic.”
To ensure that donated copiers remain in good working condition, Bircham’s asks nonprofits to sign a one-year maintenance contract for $495, which includes parts, labor, toner and 20,000 copies per year.
The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, Pikes Peak United Way, and the Nonprofit Center for Excellence are telling their members about this opportunity.
United Way Director of Community Impact Carrie Cramm said that such a donation not only increases the efficiency of the nonprofit agency, but enables them to put the funds they would have spent on a printer and supplies toward their programs, which help people in the community.
“This gift allows them to focus on their mission and serving their clients and participants,” Cramm said. “You can only stretch a dollar so far, and everyone needs a printer for administrative needs. And nonprofit agencies would rather use that dollar for client services than administrative dollars.”
During 2005, Bircham’s donated 200 used copiers to nonprofits in Southern Colorado.
The idea to donate came from Paul Bircham, who took over the family business from his father, Ed Bircham, a number of years ago.
“It’s not often that a small business can run a program of this scale and size,” Zoch said. “But Paul always says you have to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you and help in any way you can. He’s pretty much following in his father’s footsteps in regards to making an impact within our nonprofit community.”
Cramm said that more and more agencies have to make tough decisions about which services they can provide and which they have to eliminate.
“In this time of need, this gift enables them not to have to make that decision,” Cramm said
And local nonprofits are, indeed, grateful.
“We’re a small nonprofit — we couldn’t afford a new copier,” Lizzul said. “So we were very happy for the opportunity to get this.”
Local nonprofits that need a copier or companies that can offer storage space can contact Zoch at 630-8600.