By Steve Lippman, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Microsoft
In the recent past, we’ve blogged about our software donation program, a program that provides free software licenses to any eligible nonprofit organization. To keep things simple our eligibility guidelines track to the same criteria that the US government and other governments around the world use in deciding who is a nonprofit.
This kind of broad program – which provided $844 million in software to 40,000 organizations last year – inevitably means that from time to time we end up providing software to some group that holds policy positions different than our own. That’s because the goal of the program is to support a vibrant and healthy non-profit community, not a particular issue or point of view.
Until now, we’ve talked about this issue mostly in general terms. But a recent controversy over climate change denial advertising by a nonprofit that received software licenses under our program are prompting us to be a little more specific.
Microsoft believes climate change is a serious issue that demands immediate, worldwide attention and we are acting accordingly. We are pursuing strategies and taking actions to reduce our own impact as well as the impact of our products. In addition, Microsoft has adopted a broad policy statement on climate change that expresses support for government action to address climate change.
The Heartland Institute does not speak for Microsoft on climate change. In fact, the Heartland Institute’s position on climate change is diametrically opposed to Microsoft’s position. And we completely disagree with the group’s inflammatory and distasteful advertising campaign.
Heartland did participate in our global software donation program in 2010, as did thousands of other nonprofit organizations. It’s important to point out that hundreds of environmental and conservation groups also took advantage of the same program, and received over $13 million in free software to pursue their missions.
Again, our software donation program does not support or endorse any particular nonprofit or any particular policy views — it supports giving all nonprofits in the world access to free software.
To learn more about Microsoft’s climate change policy statement and sustainability efforts, please visit our website.