Microsoft Philanthropies was launched a little over a year ago with a vision to empower people around the globe with its technology and services. Last June, the company vowed to donate over $1 billion worth of cloud computing resources to 70,000 nonprofits worldwide over the period of three years. Now, the company's philanthropic division has highlighted its charitable efforts over the past year.
Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Philanthropies noted the company's contributions to various nonprofits and schools including donations worth $465 million to 71,000 organizations, expanding access to computer science education to 225 high schools in the US. They also provide more than $30 million in technology and cash donations to organizations serving refugees and displaced people, and employees of the corporation raised $142 million for 19,000 nonprofits and schools.
The company also highlighted its work with CONIN, a nonprofit working to eradicate child malnourishment in Argentina, who are using Microsoft cloud technologies "to analyze issues that cause malnutrition, like lack of clean water and insufficient healthy food, and to create an accurate visualization of on-the-ground realities".
As part of its Microsoft Azure for Research initiative, the company has also extended access to Azure to 350 scientists in 2016 on top of 600 research papers being worked on already. The company is also supporting 26 projects in 11 countries to connect rural schools, community centers, healthcare clinics, and police stations to the internet using "TV white space".
The company has been ramping up its educational endeavors with its YouthSpark program, providing more than $23 million through 142 cash grants to organizations in 58 countries as part of its $75 million, three-year commitment to make computer science education accessible to young people.
Additionally, Microsoft's Minecraft coding tutorial at the Computer Science Education week engaged 15 million people in 119 countries.
The Redmond corporation's humanitarian efforts consisted of donations worth $30 million to organizations like Mercy Corps, CARE, the International Rescue Committee, and NetHope to aid displaced people. They are also providing technology to SOS Children's Village International, a non-profit that cares for displaced children and their families and has set up information and communications technology corners along refugee routes in Europe to aid refugees.
Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Philanthropies, praised the organization's efforts, saying:
I’m proud of what we achieved at Microsoft Philanthropies in our first year. More than that, I am inspired by the impact that the nonprofits and researchers we support are having as they work to make the world a better place. While we made good progress, one thing is very clear to me—at Microsoft Philanthropies, we must do more.
She added that the corporation will "continue to drive initiatives in education, increase our support for humanitarian action, and work to make technology more accessible for people living with disabilities".