Youth & Opportunity
Engineering , Math
It is with great concern we are seeing the images from Japan. The scene of the devastation is quite amazing. It will be a while for all of us to get a full sense of the disaster and its impact.
Our team in Japan was in fact hosting a conversation with 30 NGO representatives from our Community Technology Skills Program partner the National Council of Women who were in the building for a training event. Some of the representatives are from across Japan including some of the worst hit areas of the disaster. This was their annual review of the program. The Japan team has been working hard to supply food, drinks and blankets to all those remaining in the building.
Our team is working to determine the best response and is working with the Red Cross in Japan and other key local NGOs to determine the level of assistance they may require.
Microsoft is also putting in place a range of services and resources to support relief efforts in Japan including:
The Disaster Response team will be connecting with our colleagues from the Microsoft Japan Subsidiary over the weekend to get the latest information on where/how Microsoft may be able to lend support.
Several organizations are offering support to help victims of the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief. Here are a few ways you can help:
This week, 1,500 nonprofit IT professionals and advocates will gather in Washington, DC at the Nonprofit Technology Network's annual Nonprofit Technology Conference. In celebration of this gathering and the amazing work of nonprofits, we will be showcasing five partner organizations and the impact they are having with the help of technology. (Starting March 14, visit www.microsoft.com/citizenship daily to learn more about how these organizations are embracing technology).
A significant and noteworthy shift is underway in how people and organizations are using technology thanks to the widespread availability of powerful, convenient, and increasingly-affordable Internet-connected computing devices and major advances in software and cloud-based services.
This convergence of innovative hardware, software, and services is changing how people communicate and interact, share information, learn, do business, and get things done.
As recent world events have shown, technology is democratizing the flow of information as never before, enabling individuals to not only consume information, but create it, share it and distribute it. As mobile phones and cloud-based social networking services like Facebook become increasingly pervasive, the "conversation" can now start from any point, or many points, and travel the globe in a matter of minutes.
Today, we are seeing three "disruptive" technology shifts that can help nonprofits operate more efficiently, improve service delivery, and strengthen relationships with donors and volunteers:
1. Widespread access to affordable mobile phones is making technology ubiquitous, which is especially important in addressing development needs in emerging markets.
2. The advent of affordable technology is transforming the global economy, broadening access to global markets, even for people in remote locations and enabling developing countries to drive economic growth .
3. Individuals increasingly are at the center of the information flow and knowledge creation, rather than simply passive observers or consumers of information
At Microsoft, we are playing a role in each of these areas with a strong commitment to support nonprofits in the adoption and use of these technologies to drive greater efficiency and effectiveness. Keeping up with technology can often feel overwhelming, even to the best-prepared organization. But we also know that ignoring these changes puts nonprofits at a disadvantage.
Technology has the potential to transform and invigorate how organizations function internally, how they deliver services, and how they interact with contributors and volunteers. For these reasons, it's important that organizations understand and embrace the opportunities available now and anticipate those that will make sense down the road.
I would particularly like to underscore the importance of technology innovation in the nonprofit sector. Although the private sector continues to drive advances in hardware, software, and services, the pace of change and the availability of so many free, affordable, and easy-to-use technology tools means that nonprofits can-and must-act to innovate.
Mobile technology and devices are revolutionizing the creation, collection and use of information. In emerging markets, mobile phones are being utilized as a secure mobile wallet, for banking, and for healthcare diagnostic and data collection. We will see this trend continue as more relevant applications are developed-commercially, by university researchers, and by non-profits-for both feature phones and smart phones.
Social networking is another amazing opportunity to reach out and engage new audiences. For nonprofits, the ability to share and exchange information in creative and powerful ways can lead to effective community building and increased transparency. Added to this, we are seeing the increased use of technology by non-profits to bring information to life, using video, photos, stories and other data in visually rich and contextually engaging ways.
Finally, we are seeing how the creative use of technology is enabling organizations to more effectively connect donors, volunteers and beneficiaries in ways that lead to increases in financial support, volunteer engagement and service delivery. Historically, this has been a time-consuming and difficult task. The challenge is how best to create a dynamic database of opportunities and match that with volunteers' interests, skills, location and availability.
At Microsoft, we are working in partnership with a number of organizations to help drive creative solutions around technology innovation, the creative use of mobile devices, increasing connections, and unleashing the power of the people. We have a strong history of supporting the technology needs of nonprofits. In fact, every day Microsoft donates software valued at an average of more than $1 million to nonprofits worldwide, along with help building their capacity to utilize the software effectively.
In future blog postings, we will share examples of innovative uses of technology in the three areas discussed above. My hope is that by sharing examples of how other organizations are adapting to the rapid pace of technology changes, nonprofits will feel more comfortable embracing this disruption and harnessing it to reimagine our world.
You can download my white paper on "Innovative IT" here.
To learn more about how five of our partner organizations are embracing technology and the impact they are having, visit www.microsoft.com/citizenship
Join the NTC Conversation on Twitter: #11NTC
Follow our Tweets from NTC: Twitter.com/msftcitizenship (@msftcitizenship)
Connect on Facebook: Facebook.com/MicrosoftCitizenship
Cross posted from the Microsoft Canada Blog
Using the transformative power of sport and play, Canadian-founded international development organization Right To Play is improving the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.
Today, RTP is running about 50 projects across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America, and in 2009 its programs reached a total of more than one million children in regular weekly programming and special sports events and festivals. By the end of 2009, RTP was also reaching more than 700,000 children in weekly, regular sport and play activities.
But as a rapidly growing organization, RTP was facing several challenges: communications between staff members and with donors wasn’t working well, and financial tracking wasn’t very time efficient. RTP asked an external consultant to review the organization’s technology infrastructure and based on the recommendations from the resulting strategic IT plan, RTP decided if it was to truly improve its day to day operations, it would need to implement a major technology overhaul.
“We really needed to take an overall look at our technology needs and catch up to where we should be in terms of providing our staff and volunteers with the type of infrastructure that is required to run an organization approaching 500 employees across 26 countries, and a donor-base that is equally as geographically dispersed,” says Robert Witchel, RTP’s National Director.
RTP decided to reach out to Microsoft for support and Microsoft provided enough software for the team to realize a significant portion of its new five-year plan.
“Microsoft quickly pointed us in the right direction,” says Witchel. “We were absolutely thrilled to receive a grant of software in the amount of $750,000. It allowed us to accelerate our technology plans at a rate that was, just a few months earlier, unthinkable.”
Witchel says the improved technology has directly impacted the organization’s day-to-day operations.
“It has already transformed the way that we work,” says Witchel. “It has freed people to manage their time more productively, operate more efficiently, and improve communications and donor outreach.”
“This is just an incredible thing for us because the impact that we can have on children around the world is directly related to our ability to raise funds,” he says.
Here is a quick snapshot of just some of the key benefits Witchel shares:
· Improved communications: Microsoft CRM Dynamics was deployed so the charity would have the tools and technology to improve communications with its donors. One office was even able to triple its campaign letters from the year before and double its campaign revenues, because the solution improved the team’s ability to organize its contact-base.
· Websites: Microsoft SharePoint allowed RTP to design an externally facing website that could easily be duplicated across each of its national offices, giving the teams the flexibility to populate their own sites while staying within the RTP brand.
· Intranet: RTP now also plans to build its intranet portal on Microsoft SharePoint, making it possible for RTP staff and volunteers from all over the world to share stories from the field, as well as photos and reports, with the entire organization.
But they’re not stopping there. In the future the RTP team hopes to leverage Microsoft technology to distribute program resources to teams in the field, participate in video training, and maybe even connect children of various languages and cultures together.
“Our partnership has been wonderful so far,” Witchel says. “We really enjoy Microsoft’s collaborative approach, and we hope that we’re just at the beginning of what will be a long relationship.”
To learn more about Right To Play visit: www.righttoplay.ca
Be sure to tune in next week for more Nonprofit Technology stories during #11NTC, March 14-20:
Microsoft.com/Citizenship will be taken over by KEXP.org, The American Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, Boys and Girls Club of America, and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).
To stay up to date on the latest Citizenship Stories:
What would it look like if you could gather a group of advanced social media minds, search engine marketing experts, rock star product designers, and platform evangelists from the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Bing, Google, Microsoft, REI, and WebTrends in one room?
Sounds like a party for the ages, but more importantly it creates a think tank that can produce compelling ideas on solving some of the toughest challenges that nonprofits face online. Working with DonorsChoose.org, the group discussed how to most effectively use online tools and processes for maximum impact.
The result? A free eBook called the “Goodness Engine: Driving Greater Social Impact in the Digital World” has been created to help other nonprofits learn about a whole range of topics from driving online traffic to creating dynamic content and managing online engagement. Feel free to share this eBook with anyone you think it could help!
Find out more on:
For more information on Microsoft’s Citizenship effort please visit:
Guest post by Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International
In honor of International Women’s Day 2011, I posted a Q&A with Hege Skryseth (pictured left), Country Manager for Norway, to the Women at Microsoft Facebook page today. This day was first recognized in 1911, making this its Centenary Year of celebrating the accomplishments of women! Microsoft Norway’s leadership team is 40% female and the entire subsidiary is 28% female, which is slightly higher than the global average. (I’ll be visiting them in Norway on April 1.) This is the third in a series of interviews with our key female Country Managers which I’ve done for the Women at Microsoft page, the first two being with Tracey Fellows and Sandra Yachelini. As with the other two, I asked Hege one question just for my blog.
Q: What advice do you have for other women at Microsoft who are interested in becoming a CM?
The most important thing is to take on P&L responsibility. You can’t succeed in this role without that experience. I’d also say you have to welcome new challenges, both internally and externally. Building your external network is key if you’re going to be able to be the “face of Microsoft” for your country. Getting exposure to working with politicians is also a big help, because that is a special skill. Internally, you also have to ensure that you’re being visible in the organization. Be deliberate in setting up your career plan to seek out these responsibilities. And get a good mentor who will help you get a big picture view of the Microsoft world.
You can read the rest of our Q&A here, which I hope you’ll enjoy.
Microsoft Norway is a key sponsor of the largest female ICT network in the country called ODA, which is 5 years old, has 1500 participants and helps connect women in the Norwegian technology industry to mentors and management coaching. They’re participating today in an ODA event to recognize the day.
Our mission is to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their
Explore the positive impact of local programs promoted and supported by Microsoft
around the world.
News, perspectives and analysis on legal and policy issues.
© 2013 Microsoft
Privacy Statement |
Connect With Us