Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 25 seconds

Laptops vs. Desktops

laptopdesktopA laptop or desktop? That is the question most non-profits face. Actually, both laptops and desktops have their place in a non-profit organization. Each one offers something unique. Laptops offer portability and flexibility. While desktops offer security (you can‘t leave a desktop in a cab), full size keyboard and the ability to have dual screens.

Whether a non-profit chooses a laptop or a desktop depends on the organization.

Some organizations like LIFT use both. Colleen Flynn, Manager or Communications and Media Relations for LIFT, explains that her organization uses both laptops and desktops.

LIFT provides national office staff with laptops while the desktops are for their community resource centers, but uses desktops for their community-based programs.

The desktops allow community members to apply for jobs, find housing or file taxes. According to Colleen, “The desktops tend to be easier to set up with shared drives, and are also not as easily movable, making them less likely to be lost or stolen in a site with heavy foot traffic of volunteers, clients, and community partners.”

The laptops are a “necessity for the mobile office staff”, says Colleen, “In the course of a week staff members can take meetings in various locations. And the laptops give them portable access to email and internet to stay on top of all of their tasks.”

Liliane Stransky, Founder and President of the Step by Step Foundation, calls her laptop an “extension of herself“.

Along with her work for Step by Step, Liliane is involved with a Pepsi Refresh Project by keeping her laptop with her at all times, she is ready at a moments notice to someone her Refresh Project presentation and get them to vote on the spot.

There is no doubt that laptops provide portability and flexibility along with convenience. “As a company expands says Colleen, “laptops are more easily relocated into different office space arrangements or transferred to various team members.”

In addition, many laptop users feel that a laptop is greener as it uses less power then a desktop and having a mobile presentation means less printing.

Of course, desktops still grace many an office in the non-profit world. Smaller local organizations that don’t do many offsite presentations or travel often get by with just a desktop.

Eileen McMonagle, Executive Director of Historic Yellow Springs explains that a majority of her organizations onsite work is done with desktops.

Although, she does have a personal laptop, which she uses if the need arises, she still believes desktops offer everything her organization needs. She feels that the desktops suit her organization just fine. Explains, Eileen, “Memory sticks make it possible to be portable even without a laptop”, it isn’t even necessary to have a laptop.

While laptops make life easier for organizations with members who travel or who do extensive presentations, it is clear that there will always be a place for desktops in some organizations.

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