By Kathleen Hogan, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs
Every day, Microsoft employees have the opportunity to help people do more and achieve more through technology. And today is a special day, as we’re announcing two new steps we’re taking to support our employees’ involvement in their communities.
As we’ve come to appreciate, everyday people working in nonprofit organizations wake up determined to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. But there are so many challenges facing them, a big one being lack of IT expertise to help them extend their work and do more good in their communities.
We want to turn that challenge into an opportunity. Today we are announcing Microsoft’s new Tech Talent for Good program. The program does two things. It is a direct response to the widespread need for technical expertise among nonprofits. And, it extends the expertise of Microsoft employees to help these organizations.
To deepen our employees’ impact, we’re also increasing our company volunteer match to $25 per hour. This means that four hours of employee volunteer time also results in a $100 donation to the nonprofit organization.
Many of our employees have asked how they can do more for their local communities, and we are proud to provide this increased matching contribution and this new way to participate in the Microsoft Employee Giving Program.
In 2014, Microsoft employees raised a record-breaking $117 million for nearly 20,000 nonprofits and schools around the world, including $60 million for nearly 5,000 organizations in Washington State. This reflects another year of continuing growth and it’s the fourth year in a row that our employees, together with the company’s match, raised more than $100 million to support nonprofits and schools. It is an honor to share the generous contributions of our employees and a privilege to extend our resources in a new way to the local communities where we live, work and play.
As we know, technology can be a critical component of nonprofit success in addressing today’s myriad societal challenges, but it’s often beyond the reach of many organizations. For example, 46 percent of nonprofits don’t have the training budget for technology-related skills and knowledge. That’s according to an NTEN Report released in July 2014, which surveyed 781 nonprofits of all sizes across the U.S.
Microsoft’s new Tech Talent for Good program will encourage and enable our employees to bring their technical talents to bear against this challenge. Working with a number of nonprofit partners, including Taproot Foundation, an organization that specializes in skills-based volunteering, we will actively identify technology projects and help manage the engagement between nonprofit organizations and our employee volunteers. And, as we do with all employee volunteer efforts, we’ll match their time with cash contributions, now at $25 per hour, to each organization.
Nonprofits come in all shapes and sizes and our employees care about a wide range of social causes. So, we are starting this match-making with a varied portfolio of twenty nonprofits in Washington State, including Food Lifeline, Bellevue Arts Museum, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, PATH, Seattle Aquarium, Treehouse, USO Northwest, Washington FIRST Robotics and Year Up Puget Sound. Over time and as we refine our program, we’ll roll out even more nonprofit tech talent volunteering opportunities.
Microsoft has long had a passion and focus on changing the world. Tech Talent for Good helps us take another big step forward by directly bringing the technical talents of our employees and nonprofits together to help drive even more social change.