Youth & Opportunity
Engineering , Math
Lori Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship & Public Affairs at Microsoft explains why Microsoft is launching the Local Impact Map for nonprofits, a new tool that provides a compelling way to share stories and impact.
More than ever before, there is a growing need among nonprofits to effectively communicate stories of their impact on society. After all, how can nonprofits gain the support they need through volunteerism and donations without building awareness of what they can accomplish? In fact, the power and necessity of storytelling for nonprofits was a big topic at the recent Social Innovation Summit in May, which our own Akhtar Badshah attended.
It’s why today, we’re launching the Microsoft Local Impact Map for nonprofits and for commercial organizations who wish to showcase their Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Originally developed to help showcase the impact of our Citizenship programs in more than 100 countries around the world, we’re now offering the application to nonprofits at no cost, with a monthly charge of just $15 to host the map online via Microsoft Azure. Using the built-in content management system, nonprofits can now create their own customized maps to showcase their work in local communities around the globe incorporating text, pictures and videos. The map also includes a host of social media capabilities so stories can be easily shared and promoted.
The Aidmatrix Foundation utilizes their Local Impact Map to highlight impactful stories of their humanitarian relief partners around the globe.
Extending Our Commitment to Nonprofits
Nonprofits play an incredibly important role in every community around the world. At Microsoft we’ve always recognized the importance of that work and believed that by making the latest technology accessible we can help them accomplish even more. It’s the commitment behind our software donations program, which in 2011 provided more than $844 million worth of software to more than 40,000 nonprofits around the world. The release of the Local Impact Map is another component of that commitment.
Ahead of today’s general release we’ve been working with a number of organizations to create their own maps including the Aidmatrix and TechSoup Global.
TechSoup, an organization that helps other nonprofits obtain and use technology to heighten their impact, has populated the map with their global touch points. The organization’s impact map has numerous stories, including how they’ve supported U.S.-based All The Children Are Children and London-based Childreach International. Technology from TechSoup helps both organizations meet the needs of children around the world, helping them to provide access to quality education and healthcare.
Commercial CSR Storytelling
In addition to nonprofits, we’re also making the Local Impact Map available to for-profit companies such as UnitedHealthcare, who are looking for a compelling way to share the impact of their CSR programs. As with nonprofits the Map application will be made available free of change with a $15 per month hosting fee.
We think this is a great addition to the technology we are providing to the global nonprofit community, and it provides a great means of enabling nonprofits to gain support for their work and commitment. Our hope is that the Local Impact Map will allow nonprofits and our colleagues in the social innovation industry to seamlessly communicate their stories in a visually compelling way.
Fun fact: The Microsoft Local Impact Map was a Webby Awards Honoree in 2012 for the Corporate Social Responsibility category.
Of the 10,000 entries submitted to the 16th Annual Webby Awards, fewer than 15 percent were distinguished as an Official Honoree.
By Doug Thomas, Content Producer, Office.com
A PowerPoint deck is much like a resume: you want to work on it so it makes an impact. However, when you’re interviewed, how much time is spent actually looking at the document? A minute? Maybe two? Your PowerPoint is the same way; you need to work on it, but also prepare to present it effectively to ensure your message really lands.
Here is this week’s Fast Five Features for NGOs for presenting with more impact.
1. Make use of the underutilized Presenter View.
This is your view in Presenter View. The left-hand side is the slide that your audience will see. On the right-hand side is your notes section, which is only visible to you. You can use the arrows, markers, and you have the ability to skip over slides using functionality in the bottom portion of the screen.
2. Talking to a remote audience? Broadcast your Slideshow.
Regardless of the device, the slides in a broadcast slideshow move about the same speed in almost real time.
3. Try the 10-20-30 rule.
4. Be aware of Really Bad PowerPoint.
5. For more tools and advice, view this video on creating Better PowerPoint presentations: The Office Casual Way.
Doug Thomas has created content at Office.com for 5 years. Previously he worked at Amazon.com as managing editor in the DVD department, and reviewed movies for numerous outlets for twenty years. So it's ironic he is now creating videos & webinars at Office.com. Join him every Tuesday for Office 15-Minute Webinars: http://aka.us/offweb.
Last year Microsoft employees across the United States raised $100.5 million for nonprofit organizations around the world. While the total value is great, what’s more impressive is the stories of the 35,500 people inside Microsoft who made it happen. Over the coming months we’re hoping to share some of their stories, shine a light on why they give back, and showcase some of the nonprofits they are supporting. Our first spotlight is shining on Erin Zuehlsdorff. Erin has been working at Microsoft for just under two years but she has already made her mark.
Erin has helped build a sustainable support model for Microsoft employees to volunteer for Global Give Back Circle (GGBC), an organization that enables disadvantaged girls in Kenya to complete their educational journey, gain skills for employment, and become agents of change themselves. Erin is a mentor for the program; however, the impact of her volunteerism extends much wider through recruiting other Microsoft employees to join the cause.
Erin Zuehlsdorff, Microsoft University Staffing Consultant, has recruited several Microsoft employees to volunteer as mentors for Global Give Back Circle.
It’s a natural ambition for Erin as she supports university recruiting for Microsoft Human Resources, acting as a staffing consultant at a variety of universities in the Midwest and Northwest. She also spearheads Microsoft’s high school internship program, which aims to spark an interest in computer science in young people and provide them exposure to real-life projects so they’ll be empowered and inspired to study CS in college.
“I could not have dreamed up a better job for me,” she said. I really believe in Microsoft’s core values, especially those related to giving back.”
Discovering Global Give Back Circle
Erin first became involved with GGBC shortly after she joined Microsoft in September 2010. She interviewed Vivian Onano after she was recommended by a Microsoft employee when visiting to speak at a Microsoft breakfast series talk on education. Vivian is part of the GGBC and one of the first girls from the program to attend college in the U.S. at Carthage College in Madison, Wisc.
“Her passion for giving and learning was so strong that I was inspired to learn more,” said Erin.
She was then introduced to the founder of GGBC, Linda Lockhart, and was inspired to begin informally mentoring Vivian. The two used Skype and texting to communicate every couple of weeks. Erin, 24, often encouraged Vivian, 21, from a peer’s perspective as they’re not far apart in age. In Kenya, it is often up to two years before a young woman who has completed high school is able to join university, so encouragement from mentors like Erin during that period and beyond is crucial. Through GGBC, girls from all parts of Kenya are guided to apply to universities and for education loan packages, while working with mentors from all over the world.
Gaining IT skills is also a critical part of the program. In 2008, Microsoft Women of WECA (West, East, and Central Africa) collaborated with GGBC to implement Microsoft IT Labs in Kenya. Since then, girls in the program have turned their gap period into a gateway through a nine-month Microsoft IT course in which they learn marketable skills such as programming, web design, accounting, and using the productivity tools in Microsoft Office. In the lab, the girls learn about university options, scholarship opportunities, and career planning. They research what GGBC calls “give-back commitments” to invest back into their own communities, all while communicating with their mentors to gain skills and confidence to pursue their dreams.
Mentoring strikes a match
After learning about the incredible impact GGBC was having on young Kenyan women, Erin was determined to do more for the organization.
“I shared the story with other women at Microsoft and we learned that we could match our volunteer hours through Microsoft’s volunteer match program,” said Erin.
Through Microsoft Volunteer Manager, Erin and other employees began to record their volunteer hours and request a matching contribution from Microsoft. At a match of $17 per hour, they realized that employees mentoring for GGBC could have a serious impact on the success of the organization, not just through their time, but financially as well.
“Typically, women in Kenya are told from a young age that there are very limited options for their future, if any,” said Erin. “Being able to empower someone and say ‘I believe in you’ means so much to them. You may be the only voice telling her that she can do anything and that her potential is limitless.”
Erin currently volunteers around six hours per month through her mentoring of Celestine Chepeng’ who is currently attending Todosia School in Kenya while continuing to informally mentor Vivian. She also coordinates and attracts new volunteers and serves as an advisory board member for a recent Clinton Global Initiative commitment by GGBC and three of its members, “Hey Sister, Get Clued Up,” a website dedicated to informing young women of a myriad of important topics such as HIV testing and IT skills. The Global Give Back Circle has yearly trips for mentors to visit Kenya and Erin plans to go next year to meet her mentee for the first time, give a career prep workshop, and see the IT labs in person.
“Mentoring is a great way for women with a packed scheduled to give back in a meaningful way,” she said. “It’s such a small amount to give for so much reward. Just a small piece of your heart – two letters a month – can have a significant impact on her self-esteem and future.”
Building a larger base of Microsoft mentors
Erin plans to attract additional employees to become mentors with October’s upcoming giving campaign.
“Whether you are passionate about women’s education or a cleaner environment, I would encourage all employees to consider making a formal commitment to give back in an area they are passionate about,” Erin said. “Nothing can be more rewarding.”
Microsoft employees looking to get involved and to be a mentor for a girl in Kenya through Global Give Back Circle should visit www.globalgivebackcircle.org to learn more about the structure and impact of mentoring and to sign up, or if you are just considering and want to learn more email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The giving campaign makes me proud to be a part of this company,” said Erin. “I’m incredibly blessed and it’s encouraging to know that the company wants you to bless others. It shows me that Microsoft values what I value, which is making the world a better place. That makes me a more loyal customer and employee.”
By Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Microsoft
A party among some close friends and colleagues on a beautiful sunny day in New York is always fun, especially if you’re on the 87th floor with some breathtaking views and surrounded by original art from Picasso, Chagall, Miro and Liechtenstein. This is what Zeev Klein and his colleagues from Landmark Ventures are able to pull off every year. This year’s Social Innovation Summit hosted at JP Morgan Chase headquarters and the United Nations was once again awe-inspiring and I think I am now just over stimulated.
What I love about these events is that I walk out of there humbled and feeling like I have not achieved anything in my life. This is extremely good because it motivates me and hundreds of my other colleagues to go out and continue to do what we do to make a difference. I heard from Steve Gleason, the former NFL star, who is now stricken with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a fast moving and debilitating disease. He is wheelchair bound and completely dependent on technology to live his life. He urged us to create new and innovative technology solutions so people like him can live their lives while a cure for ALS can be found. He has archived his synthetic voice as that is the only way his daughter will ever hear him. What an amazing man who is surrounded by loving and caring friends.
We also heard from Lady Gaga’s mother, Cynthia Germanotta, co-founder and president of Born This Way Foundation. She shared how together with her daughter they are using Lady Gaga’s reach and power to help transform the lives of young people.
In the same vein, Alicia Keyes spoke about her visit to South Africa and how she was moved by the kids she met who have been impacted by AIDs. She is the co-founder and global ambassador for Keep a Child Alive, an effort to ensure kids with AIDs in Africa get a chance to live.
Bill Gross of IdeaLab spoke about developing a low-cost construction system to house over a million families – he plans to make it. He has the power to bring technology and financial resources in a unique and sustainable way.
Craig Venter, Howard W. Buffet, Nick Negroponte, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Jeff Swartz, all spoke about what drives them. A unique aspect of what the Social Innovation Summit does is that it opens up a fire hose of phenomenal people on you. The quality of ideas and conversations is overwhelming – in a positive way. There’s no let up, you just move from one session to another. Having spent a decade at MIT, I know what it is like drinking from a fire hose, a lot of water does get spilled but you do quench your thirst.
Amidst all these great sessions, two in particular stood out - and at the same time made me feel that I’ve accomplished very little to date. Those were the sessions where the young innovators spoke. They are helping other girls change their lives. Genevieve L’Esperance (Girls4STEM) from Montreal started teaching young girls to get into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers when she was 14 and has built a set of videos on You Tube for young girls to learn from. She is at McGill studying computer science and was telling me she is not finding it hard enough so she wants to also study bio-medicine. Avery Winthrop McCall, Teen Advisor for Girl Up, is a teenager who is raising money as part of the Girls Up project in Chicago and has organized a walk with her friends and family. Bianca Louis, Vice-President, ING-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge (Teen Advisor) of Girls Inc., is also a teen doing her part to ensure girls in Africa are safe and secure and get the opportunity for education. Along with them were Asha Sharma who is the co-founder of the A-List (website), Johnnie Lovett, CEO, Fresh Connection Brand and Ben Stone, CEO of Indego Africa, all social innovators who have all found a way to create economic opportunities for them but all bring about societal changes.
One lesson I did take away is that overstimulation is good for the brain and that the future is in safe, good and strong hands if the young people we heard from are any indication. Let’s continue drinking from the fire hose.
Yesterday, Mark Liu from TechSoup and Kate Libershteyn from Microsoft as well as nonprofit Feet First talked to nonprofits and public libraries about how to get the most from Excel by using keyword shortcuts, pivot tables and other tips to keep spreadsheets running smoothly.
Here is this week’s Fast Five Features for NGOs for creating better spreadsheets.
1. Reduce Steps – Use Keyword Shortcuts
By moving your hand back and forth between the keyboard and your mouse, you can lose time and your mouse requires more precision. Cut down on the use of the mouse and menu and instead use the Ctrl or Alt key for simple keyboard shortcuts. For example, Ctrl + “y” can help you repeat an action such as deleting or inserting rows and to insert a new worksheet, try “Shift” + “F11.”
2. Use Pivot Tables when You’re Working with Lots of Data
Pivot tables are great for large quantities of data and categorization of that data. Additionally, pivot tables integrate well with Excel graphs. Learn more about pivot tables here.
3. Create a Strategic Scorecard for your Organization
Take your goals and break them down into measurements and targets. Now, visualize these targets and your actuals using Conditional Formatting. Conditional Formatting enables your spreadsheet to display graphical representations of your data trends, including arrows or stop light colors, which change based on the values input into your spreadsheet.
4. Maintain Version Control with Passwords
If you’ve ever experienced your budget spreadsheet turning into eight different versions with no clear current version, you’ll want to follow this tip. Simply password-protect your entire workbook and you’ll never have an issue with duplication again. Find out more here.
5. Improve Productivity by Sharing a Workbook
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you can decrease the amount of time spent on tasks within Excel by sharing the workbook so multiple users can make changes at the same time. Learn more about how to enable sharing here.
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