Microsoft hosted three of New Zealand’s leading nonprofit organisations at its second annual Asia Pacific Tech4Good Summit, held on 22-23 May in Bintan, Indonesia. The aim of the Summit is to harness the power of technology to support nonprofit groups to achieve transformational change both within their organisations and in the way they deliver services to beneficiaries and constituents.

Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, Barnardos New Zealand and Social Development Partners were among the more than 54 representatives hosted at the two-day event to learn new skills, network and discuss how technology has assisted their mission. The Summit also enabled the attendees to play a critical role in informing Microsoft's regional technology strategy for the nonprofit sector, and featured specific skill-building sessions led by professional trainers.

Belinda Gorman, Citizenship and Community Affairs Lead at Microsoft New Zealand, said, “It was fantastic to hear from a wide range of nonprofit organisations, all at different stages of their technology journeys, and the varying challenges they faced depending on the country they’re based in.”

Plunket’s Craig Le Quesne presented at the Summit, discussing new technology solutions that the organisation implemented after receiving a multi-million dollar software and services donation from Microsoft New Zealand in 2010. The introduction of new technologies has enabled the organisation to deliver improved services to New
Zealand families by connecting its teams to a central communications environment for improved access to the tools and resources they need.

Tina Reid, Executive Director at Social Development Partners, was impressed with Microsoft’s consultative approach to help build stronger communities. "Through programmes such as TechSoup Global, Connecting Communities and direct gifts and donations to social services, Microsoft has developed strong strategic relationships with many nonprofit organisations, and continues to work with them to share experiences to develop active Citizenship and Community Affairs work programmes in this region,” Ms Reid added.

Anne Collins, ISS Manager at child support group Barnardos, observed how the energy and enthusiasm was evident across the Tech4Good delegates. Since attending the Summit, Barnardos is in the process of revising its web presence and investigating how Microsoft® Office365 might streamline their desktop upgrade process. “Tech4Good reinforced how Microsoft is helping communities in need, and revealed how effective Office365 can be for small organisations. Microsoft’s help seems to be the catalyst for positive change,” said Ms Collins.

To keep the Asia Pacific region’s nonprofit community interacting and learning from each other, the Asia Pacific Microsoft Citizenship team has set up a LinkedIn group that encourages interaction and collaboration. Please go to www.linkedin.com to become a member of LinkedIn and then search for ‘AsiaPacific Tech4Good’.