By Lori Harnick, General Manager, Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs
As the needs of communities expand exponentially around the world and technology advancements accelerate with increasing speed, we’re taking a new step forward to help nonprofits more easily harness the power of technology to do more good.
Starting today, Microsoft is significantly widening the scope of its Technology for Good program by donating Office 365 to nonprofits worldwide. We’re launching the offer in 41 countries today, and we’ll roll it out in up to 90 countries by July 2014. There’s no cap on the number of nonprofit employees who can get on board, whether the organization has 10 employees or thousands.
Access to the cloud and simplified IT administration have proven essential for the Delaware chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a Microsoft YouthSpark nonprofit partner. George Krupanski, chief executive officer of the Delaware chapter, wanted to free his staff to focus on youth instead of servers and technical issues. “For many of our kids, Boys & Girls Club is a home away from home. Office 365 allows us to spend more time and resources helping our young people because we are spending less time trying to manage our systems. It also frees up space on our servers, so we can spend our resources on programs for kids instead of on additional technology equipment.”
For nonprofits with offices in multiple locations, Office 365 simplifies collaboration. Staff can view their colleagues’ calendars to find ideal meeting times, share documents without worrying about version control, and hold group meetings with high definition video conferencing. The added benefit of a cloud-based product is the ability to access documents from anywhere.
“Office 365 has been vital to the work we do, which by its nature is cross-organizational and spans the globe,” said Erik Arnold, chief information officer of PATH, an international nonprofit that transforms global health through innovation. “For example, now our Malaria Vaccine Initiative team can collaborate across geographies, accessing their files no matter where they are in the world. Office 365 is the ideal solution for our technology needs. Our whole staff has found value in the many features that help them efficiently stay connected to each other and their work, such as calendar overlays, desktop sharing, and group video conferencing.”
“I am hugely impressed with Office 365. Within days we were seeing real benefits,” said Peter Davitt, chief executive officer of Fastrack to IT, an Irish nonprofit that provides technology training and career development opportunities for the unemployed. “We have offices in Dublin, Cork and Belfast, and we can meet and collaborate very effectively using SharePoint within Office 365. We can upload files that everyone can share and work on during these meetings, regardless of their location.”
If you work at a nonprofit, now is a great time to apply for a donation of Office 365 for Nonprofits. If you have a favorite nonprofit, please help us spread the news by sharing the video below. Technology is more than bits and bytes – it’s about how people are using technology to make the world a better place. We can’t wait to hear your story.