February, 2012

  • Did you hear about our 35,500 employee philanthropists?

    We share one the best part-time jobs in the world. As co-chairs of the annual Microsoft Giving Campaign, we get the opportunity to see firsthand how our colleagues bring passion, creativity and generosity to raise much needed funds for community organizations around the globe. In 2010, we raised an outstanding $96 million. We wondered if we could go higher in 2011 and we did, knowing our employees would rise to the challenge.

    In 2011 Microsoft employees across the United States raised $100.5 million, which includes corporate matching. This marks our biggest year yet, and brings the total amount of money raised by employees to $946 million since our giving program started in 1983.

    Each full-time, U.S. based Microsoft employee receives an annual $12,000 benefit that matches donations, dollar-for-dollar, to eligible nonprofits. In 2011, 35,500 employees donated to support more than 18,000 community organizations across the globe. If an employee wishes to volunteer their personal time, we honor that donation, too. Employee volunteer time is matched $17/hour to their chosen organization. In 2011, employees committed 426,671 hours which raised $7.2 million for nonprofits. That brings the total number of volunteering hours to 1.7 million hours since we started tracking in 2006.

    While employee giving takes place throughout the year, October is a special month for our offices across the U.S. Over 50 percent of the fundraising takes place during that time. Every year we are amazed by the creativity demonstrated by Microsoft employees. From flocking a colleague’s office with pink flamingos; to running a 5K around the Microsoft campus or virtually around the world; to bidding on a coveted reserved parking space on campus through our online auction, it’s fun to watch it all happen.

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    Our employees assist thousands of nonprofit organizations through their donations and volunteering. For example, Adnan Mahmud founded Jolkona, a micro-giving nonprofit that supports grassroots organizations and has over a dozen employee volunteers who committed over 2,000 hours to building the technology platform. And then there are employees like Toby Velte who volunteers at his daughter’s school via EduConnect and teaches students about careers in technology. Toby rallied a team of Microsoft parents to raise money to fund a PC lab in their school district to teach students programming via the Kodu Games Labs.

    We are so proud to share these results on behalf of Microsoft employees across the US. This $100,000,000 milestone is due to the many volunteers across our organization that worked tirelessly to help make it happen. Motivating and encouraging all of us every step of the way. We want to thank them for their contribution in making 2011 the largest year of employee giving yet!

    It is our privilege to work alongside so many people that care so deeply and give so generously.

     

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    Kathleen Hogan

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    S.Somasegar

    Kathleen Hogan was co-chair of the 2011 Microsoft Giving Campaign and is Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Services

    As corporate vice president of Microsoft Services, Kathleen Hogan leads a global team of more than 19,000 professionals who are dedicated to helping businesses and individual consumers maximize the value of their investment in Microsoft technologies. Under her leadership, Microsoft Services helps customers meet their business and personal objectives by effectively deploying and supporting Microsoft software and services.

    S. Somasegar was co-chair of the 2011 Microsoft Giving Campaign and is Corporate Vice President, Developer Division

    As corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Somasegar is responsible for engineering and marketing for developer tools and services, programming languages and runtimes designed for a broad base of software developers and development teams, including the Visual Studio and Expression families of products, .NET Framework, and Team Foundation Server. Somasegar also owns developer evangelism efforts spanning the full array of Microsoft platforms. His team also owns MSDN and TechNet online properties to enable a deep connection with the developer and IT professional audiences. In addition, Somasegar is responsible for the Server and Tools Business Global Development Centers in China, India and Israel and is the executive sponsor for the India Development Center and the Israel Research and Development Center for all of Microsoft.

  • How does a nonprofit use technology to support global operations?

    Since 1968, Concern Worldwide has been working with the poorest people in the poorest countries of the world to enable them to transform their lives.

    Today, Concern is one of the world’s largest humanitarian NGOs, with almost 4,000 staff working in nearly 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Central America. In keeping with its mission of helping poor people to achieve long-lasting improvements in their lives, Concern’s field programs focus on food security, education, primary healthcare, livelihoods, and disaster risk reduction as well as emergency response.

    Technology plays an indispensable role in ensuring that Concern’s field programs provide sustainable benefits to local communities. “We view technology as a strategic asset,” according to Vincent Richardson, chief information officer at Concern. “It’s obviously crucial for our back office systems and our ability to keep operating in the most difficult situations. We’re also embedding technology in our field operations, both to deliver programs and to put technology into people’s hands so they can use it to improve their lives and livelihoods. This is at the heart of achieving sustainable change for the world’s poorest people.”

    Concern faces the same operational requirements for reporting, collaboration, management and communication as any large global organization, with the added challenge of operating in communities which often have limited infrastructure.

    So how do they keep things up and running? They are using Microsoft Office 365 to support their incredible work around the world. Here’s how they’re using it.

     

    You can find out more about Concern’s work here and why not support their work by visiting their donations page.

    You can find out more about Concern’s work here and why not support their work by visiting their donations page.

  • Helping nonprofits understand Microsoft employee giving

    A couple of weeks ago we announced the results of the 2011 Microsoft employee giving campaign.  Employees in the United States donated over $100 million, with corporate match, to nonprofits during the year.  One of the most common questions we get from nonprofit organizations (possibly second only to how can I avail of software donations) is how does the Microsoft’s employee giving program work and how can I get involved?

    To help address that very question, we hosted a session called “Maximize the Match”.  It provides you with information about our employee programs and provides best practice examples from nonprofits who have been successful raising funds with employees in the past.

    You can watch the full recording of the session here.  You can also download a copy of the presentation here.

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  • Who Trained 100,000 People in 2011?

    Guest post by Ekaterina Fedotova, Director for “Your Course: Digital Literacy” (Tvoy Kurs) Project, PH International.

    Editor’s Note: Tvoy Kurs is Russian program, supported by Microsoft, that focuses on giving people the skills they need to use technology with a view to finding employment.  Ekaterina Fedotova has kindly agreed to share some of the insights from their instructors who in 2011 trained a staggering 100,000 people.

    We did it! We trained 100,000 people in Russia during 2011 through our Tvoy Kurs Project, supported by Microsoft, and we are very proud of it. You can see the numbers on our website.

    With all the project deliverables, requirements, statistics, and reports we sometimes fail to acknowledge those who are making the digital inclusion possible - our trainers and volunteers. How do they work? What methods are they using? What are their approaches? In order to highlight the trainers' crucial role in the program, the Tvoy Kurs organized a contest to find the best trainer. So what did we learn?

    Our figures show that Tvoy Kurs boasts more than 2,000 trainers – or, to be exact, 2,222 trainers registered in our official database as of today, working to bring technology skills and pathways to career success to regions throughout Russia. Our trainers, many of them volunteers, have proven again and again that they are people of high responsibility, professional excellence, and a kind and friendly attitude.

    We have received fascinating contest applications from many trainers who told us glowing stories about their work and trainees, and shared their successes and challenges. We are very thankful to everyone who chose to take part in the contest, and since many of them deserve to win, our judges had a rather hard time choosing the very best.

    Extracts from our participants' submissions best illustrate their work and we are pleased to share their simple but effective tips and observations:

    Natalya Morgunova, Balakovo, Methodological Center of Balakovo municipal district, Saratov region, “Successful learning is the only source of energy and motivation for overcoming challenges. That is why creating success situations is so important in adult education as well as in teaching children. Besides, as 19th century German educator Adolph Diesterweg said, ‘bad teachers merely present the truth; good ones teach how to find it’ – and that’s why we seek to combine traditional methods of disseminating ready knowledge with new approaches that encourage independent discovery. The success of my trainees is my success!”

    Еvgeniya Batuyeva, Perm, A. M. Gorky Regional Library, Perm: “I try to take into account my trainees’ personalities, age, educational background, and initial skills (or lack thereof) of using the computer – or, at the very least, the cell phone. This year our Tvoy Kurs Center has been working with residents of boarding houses for people with psychoneurological disabilities. It has been very tough, since most trainees suffer from attention deficit and other disorders and display general lack of training and self-training, and many of them are severely inhibited and intimidated. However, thanks to our learner-centered approach, carefully customized to individual needs, they were able to complete the course successfully. Thanks to the new computer skills, many of them now have a new source of entertainment and recreation, and some have even found their relatives or landed online jobs.”

    Zhanna Gayevskaya, Volgograd, M. Gorky Regional Academic Library, Volgograd: “To merely state that teaching adults – i.e. people with established character, views, and habits – is a challenge is to say nothing at all. But since most our trainees start from scratch, even with the greatest desire to learn it is often frustrating for them, so I emphasize creativity. During the very first class we start MS Paint and learn to draw straight lines and various geometrical figures to get the hang of the computer mouse. My whole course is built around the principle ‘As much hands-on practice as possible’”.

    Maksim Vasilyev, Volgograd, Volgograd State Agricultural University:“My work at the Tvoy Kurs Center has given me a much better understanding of people, their needs and problems. I have made many new friends, expanded my social network, and come to a firm conclusion: ‘There is no such thing as unteachable students – only bad teachers.’ This is our working motto, and we seek to customize our training for individual needs. I think I am becoming quite good at this, and it makes me very happy!”

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    Even though initially we intended to select just one winner, in the end the judges decided to recognize two best Tvoy Kurs trainers:

    I. Anastasia Ershova, Togliatti State University: "I have realized that people work much better and try harder when you praise them for even slightest achievements. They have learned to click the mouse - Good Job! They have mastered a double-click - Great Job! One of our trainees confessed that he hadn't been praised that much in his whole life and that was the major reason for him to come to the center. ... I was born in a small village with the beautiful name Apple Ravine, and the Digital Age has come even there. When i came for vacation in summer I told my former school teachers about Tvoy Kurs. The word of mouth worked immediately. The next group of trainees were workers from a local factory. who were at risk of unemployment because of the new computerized equipment. Besides Digital Literacy they learned about e-government services, saving lots of time on getting the necessary documents online instead of going to the city. That is how i spent my summer helping my fellow-villagers solve social issues and fight the unemployment."

    II. Yulia Zaitseva, Krasnoyark Regional Academic Library:"Our center works with various groups which differ both in social background and age, and we try to use individual approach with all of them. E.g., senior trainees is the most vulnerable, but at the same time a very demanding group, they prefer to do all the exercises together with the trainer and are interested in hobbies, leisure pastime, communication. When we work with medical workers, educators, and other working professionals we focus the training on Office applications and internet resources according to their professional needs. For the unemployed we have developed a special brochure with Internet job search sites and offer a special resume building training..... We have an endless flow of people, even from the nearby villages, despite the fact that there are many other training centers in our city. And we are ready and trying to help all!"

    Anastasia’s and Yulia’s full submissions are available in Russian on the program website ycdl.ph-int.org/news/850/eng/

    We are honored to work with such dedicated partners, who generously and regularly share their experiences, their learning while supporting one another in their work. Their best practices recently were highlighted at the third annual Your Course: Information Society Development Conference in Moscow on February 9-10, 2012, hosted together with Microsoft, where we celebrated the achievements of the eighty best performing Tvoy Kurs coordinators and trainers from all over Russia - and planned their further work!

    And while celebrating our trainers within Russia, I would be remiss to not mention that our trainers are also globally recognized as outstanding. As a result of the Telecentre.org’s Global Search for 100 Outstanding Telecentre Women Managers, six Tvoy Kurs coordinators were named among the 100 best, and Lyudmila Ulyeva became the best Telecentre Manager in Eurasia. Coordinator Irina Kotkina from Naryan-Mar received the Best Telecentre Manager award from Telecentre-Europe in 2011.

    We are looking forward to another exciting year of Tvoy Kurs, another year of partnership with Microsoft, and hope that we will all bring new ideas, new partnerships, and new victories while conquering new heights in 2012!

  • How technology can help local languages

    Today there are nearly 7,000 languages spoken around the world and scientists estimate that three languages become extinct every month and over half of all languages are in danger of becoming extinct before the end of this century.  Just think of the knowledge and history that’s lost when a language dies. Today is UNESCO's International Mother Language Day and a great time to celebrate the importance of language to everyone around the world.

    There are many economic and cultural reasons why so many languages are at risk of extinction.  However, with the ubiquity of computers in our lives, one element that can help preserve language is technology.  At Microsoft we’ve committed to enable as many people as possible to work, communicate and collaborate using their native language through our Local Language Program.

    While software is localized for the major world languages if you live in a smaller community you are often forced to use technology in a foreign language, adding yet another hurdle to protecting and developing your native tongue. Take Spain as an example. More than 74 percent of the country’s 47 million citizens speak Castilian Spanish, but 26 percent speak Valencian, Basque, Catalan or Galician. Through the technology of Local Interface Packs (LIPS) and Caption Language Interface Packs (CLIPS), which are part of the Microsoft Local Language Program, native speakers of Valencian, Basque, Catalan and Galician can now use technology such as Windows and Office on their own terms.

    Today Microsoft offers Windows and Office in nearly 100 languages, reaching more than 90 percent of the global population.

    In addition to providing these Local Language Packs, we also provide online dictionaries, translation tools and localized versions of our developer tools.

    Ultimately these tools and resources help support language preservation and translation, which can lead to better economic opportunities through giving more people access to technology in their own language.

    On International Mother Language Day it’s a good time to celebrate the wonderful diversity around our planet and recognize the importance those languages play in our culture and diversity. You can find a whole set of resources and download instructions for Local Language Packs at the Local Language Program website.

    Some of the languages supported today by the Local Language Program.

    Language

    Primary Location

    Afrikaans

    South Africa

    Albanian <Shqipe>

    Albania

    Alsace

    France

    Amharic <አማርኛ>

    Ethiopia

    Arabic <العربية>

    multiple locations

    Armenian <Հայերեն>

    Armenia

    Assamese <অসমীয়া>

    India

    Azerbaijani (Latin) <Azərbaycan>

    Azerbaijan

    Bangla (Bangladesh) <বাংলা (বাংলাদেশ)>

    Bangladesh

    Basque <Euskara>

    Spain

    Bengali (India) <বাংলা (ভারত)>

    India

    Bosnian (Cyrillic) <босански>

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnian (Latin) <Bosanski>

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Breton

    France

    Bulgarian <български>

    Bulgaria

    Catalan <Català>

    Spain

    Chinese Simplified <简体中文>

    China

    Chinese Traditional <繁體中文>

    China

    Croatian <Hrvatski>

    Croatia

    Czech <Čeština>

    Czech Republic

    Dari <درى>

    Afghanistan

    Danish <dansk>

    Denmark

    Dutch <Nederlands>

    Netherlands

    Estonian <Eesti>

    Estonia

    Filipino

    Philippines

    Finnish <suomi>

    Finland

    French <français>

    France

    Galician <Galego>

    Spain

    Georgian <ქართული>

    Georgia

    German <Deutsch>

    Germany

    Greek <Ελληνικά>

    Greece

    Gujarati <ગુજરાતી>

    India

    Haitian Creole

    Haiti

    Hausa

    Nigeria

    Hebrew <עברית>

    Israel

    Hindi <हिंदी>

    India

    Hindi <हिंदी>

    India

    Hungarian <Magyar>

    Hungary

    Icelandic <Íslenska>

    Iceland

    Igbo

    Nigeria

    Indonesian <Bahasa Indonesia>

    Indonesia

    Inuktitut

    Canada

    Irish <Gaeilge>

    Ireland

    isiXhosa

    South Africa

    IsiZulu

    South Africa

    Italian <italiano>

    Italy

    Japanese <日本語>

    Japan

    Kannada <ಕನ್ನಡ>

    India

    Kazakh <Қазащb>

    Kazakhstan

    Khmer <ខ្មែរ>

    Cambodia

    Kiswahili

    multiple locations

    Konkani <कोंकणी>

    India

    Korean <한국어>

    Korea

    Kyrgyz <Кыргыз>

    Kyrgyzstan

    Lao <ລາວ>

    Laos

    Latvian <Latviešu>

    Latvia

    Lithuanian <Lietuvių>

    Lithuania

    Luxembourgish <Lëtzebuergesch>

    Luxembourg

    Macedonian <македонски>

    Macedonia, Fmr Yugoslav Republic of

    Malay (Brunei Darussalam) <Bahasa Melayu (Brunei Darussalam)>

    Brunei

    Malay (Malaysia) <Bahasa Melayu (Malaysia)>

    Malaysia

    Malayalam <മലയാളം>

    India

    Maltese <Malti>

    Malta

    Maori <Reo Māori>

    New Zealand

    Marathi <मराठी>

    India

    Marathi <मराठी>

    India

    Mongolian (Cyrillic) <Монгол хэл>

    Mongolia

    Nepali <नेपाली>

    Nepal

    Norwegian (Nynorsk) <Norsk (Nynorsk)>

    Norway

    Odia <ଓଡ଼ିଆ>

    India

    Pashto <پښتو>

    Afghanistan

    Persian <فارسى>

    multiple locations

    Polish <Polski>

    Poland

    Portuguese Brazil <Português (Brasil)>

    Brazil

    Punjabi (Gurmukhi, India) <ਪੰਜਾਬੀ>

    India

    Quechua <Runasimi>

    Peru

    Romanian <Română>

    Romania

    Romansh <Rumantsch>

    Switzerland

    Russian <Русский>

    Russia

    Scottish Gaelic <Gàidhlig>

    United Kingdom

    Serbian (Cyrillic) <Српски>

    Serbia

    Serbian (Latin) <Srpski>

    Serbia

    Sesotho sa Leboa

    South Africa

    Setswana

    South Africa

    Sinhala <සිංහල>

    Sri Lanka

    Slovak <Slovenčina>

    Slovakia

    Slovenian <slovenščina>

    Slovenia

    Spanish <Español>

    Spain

    Swedish <svenska>

    Sweden

    Tamil <தமிழ்>

    India

    Tatar <Татар>

    Russia

    Telugu <తెలుగు>

    India

    Thai <ไทย>

    Thailand

    Turkish <Türkçe>

    Turkey

    Turkmen <Türkmen>

    Turkmenistan

    Ukrainian <Україньска>

    Ukraine

    Urdu <اُردو>

    Pakistan

    Uzbek (Latin) <O’zbekcha>

    Uzbekistan

    Valencian <Valencià>

    Spain

    Vietnamese <Tiếng Việt>

    Vietnam

    Welsh <Cymraeg>

    United Kingdom

    Yoruba

    Nigeria

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