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Art and Science of Partnerships: The power of communities helping communities

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by Jenni Flinders, Vice President, Microsoft US Partner Group

Jenni%20Flinders%202010%2001_jpgCommunities are at the core of how we change the world. We have seen many times over the last few years how strength in numbers somehow makes us better as individuals. We know this to be true as members of the Microsoft Partner Network, where our businesses rely on, learn from, and grow through interacting with each another. The spirit of community fuels these mutually beneficial relationships with one another, culminating in success for everyone.

As a business community, we have to pay it forward to the communities in which we work. From its earliest days as a company, Microsoft has placed a high value on supporting education within our communities based upon a belief that empowered citizens contribute to a better quality of life for all.

imageRecently, my team took steps toward this goal in Seattle, Chicago, and Charlotte, NC, with a Back-to-School Backpacks Program. As part of our internal team connection meeting in September, we filled up 110 backpacks with school supplies and then donated those backpacks, plus additional supplies, to deserving students at schools in these cities.

“Giving” at Microsoft often means more than simply writing a check. It often also involves hands-on volunteering, which is exactly how our teams pulled these donations off: employees filled the backpacks and wrote notes to the students to wish them a successful school year. The backpacks were then distributed to a school in each of the chosen cities by local Microsoft employees. image

The simple act of giving back is so rewarding, and it has nothing to do with the number of backpacks filled or any other quantifiable measure. When community giving is part of your culture, it fosters a positive work environment where employees connect with one another by working toward a common goal—one that’s bigger than ourselves, bigger than business, and bigger than the material things that concern us every day. That goal is community.

Nov2012_TwittericonI would love to hear your stories about how your business gives back, or how you plan to start paying it forward. Share your ideas here or follow me on Twitter @Jenni_Flinders because—as part of the Microsoft community—we can all inspire one another to meet our giving potential.

Comments
  • Community is such a powerful part of society that is so often missed.  Thank you for writing about this Jenni.  It is very interesting how individuals each participate in their own ways though.  For me I participate personally and professionally.  Teaching my two boys about giving and community has been something we have instilled very early in their lives.  Professionally both at Bond Consulting Services and with IAMCP we focus a lot on Community too.  With IAMCP Community is actually one of the Core Pillars of the organization. "Serving our community through technology and humanitarian efforts" is how we reference it,  Recently several of the West Region chapter at IAMCP donated almost collectively $5,000 to organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles and Utah Foster Care.  Many of the chapters are also requesting unwrapped toys to be donated during their upcoming holiday parties.  Thanks again Jenni for bringing this topic up.  - David Gersten, Customer Success Manager - Bond Consulting Services, West Region Chair - IAMCP US - @dsgersten

  • Great work, David! I look forward to hearing more stories of the work partners do in their communities on here and on twitter @Jenni_Flinders

    Happy Holidays!

  • We learned a great deal on how to properly run a Golf Tournament fund raiser for the Utah Foster Care and Success in Education from IAMCP SoCal.  Thank you David and Ro for your leadership and sharing for the better of all!

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