On 12 December 2013, Vietnam’s 3rd NGO Connection Day was held in Ho Chi Minh City, with directors and staff of more than 120 organisations present.

Besides providing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with deeper insights into emerging IT trends, the event also witnessed a reinforcement of Microsoft’s pledge to help non-profits with the announcement of the Microsoft Office 365 Donation Programme. Attendees for the event underwent a half-day workshop on Office 365 applications as well, and learnt professional tips that facilitated their work.

 Staff from local NGOs and Microsoft swapping ideas

It is crucial that NGOs, especially community-based ones which face greater difficulties in accessing funds, adopt an information technology and communications (ICT) infrastructure that will remain relevant and effective in the future. The Office 365 donation programme was rolled out as several features of the productivity suite, such as the constant updates of Office cloud service, will result in tangible gains in cost-savings, data security and IT administration for the local NGOs.

Vietnet Information Technology and Communication (Vietnet)—an NGO that aims to narrow the digital divide by giving underprivileged Vietnamese information access—is among the first few local organisations to have qualified for the programme. Armed with a cost-effective and updated information management system, Vietnet ICT will be able to carry out its programmes more efficiently, and adapt faster to face challenges in the future.

“The Office 365 Donation Programme is a crucial component in our plan to support NGOs in delivering key services to various communities, and Microsoft Vietnam is excited to help local NGOs contribute to the development of Vietnam.  After the event, more than 80 NGOs registered for software donation, we’re thrilled by the overwhelming response and we look forward to continue helping these organizations realise their potential for Vietnam.” said Jeremy Showalter, Marketing and Operations Director, Microsoft Vietnam.

Clair Deevy, Citizenship Lead, Microsoft Asia Pacific, with attendees