Microsoft and its employees donated over $650 million in cash, cloud services and software in 2016

20:45 | 02/03/2017 Companies

(VEN) - A year after the formation of Microsoft Philanthropies, Microsoft Corp. and its employees have donated more than $650 million in cash, cloud services and software to nonprofits around the world.

Microsoft's Schlaumause app is helping refugee children in Gernany to learn the local language and adapt

In a letter published March 1, Mary Snapp, corporate vice president at Microsoft Philanthropies, detailed the organization’s 2016 contributions.

Highlights include $465 million in cloud services donated to more than 71,000 organizations to benefit the public good. In addition, Microsoft employees raised $142 million for 19,000 nonprofits, helping reach an important milestone: The company’s giving program has now raised $1.5 billion since 1983.

Snapp also reports significant progress is areas such as aiding organizations that respond to human and manmade disasters and providing computer science education to those who otherwise would not have access.

In January 2016, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the company would donate $1 billion in cloud services to nonprofit organizations and researchers working on the world’s most urgent needs, from health care to education to the environment. While the commitment was originally envisioned as a three-year initiative, Microsoft Philanthropies is nearly at the halfway point of the goal, with $465 million donated in a year to 71,000 organizations.

For example, CONIN, a nonprofit in Argentina, now uses Microsoft cloud technology to identify and analyze causes of childhood malnutrition. CONIN is now able, along with local governments, to better direct resources to families in urgent need and even pinpoint interventions that can be taken before a crisis occurs.

In Botswana, VistaAfrica (Vista) uses cloud technology to help health clinic staff reliably store and access medical charts and leverage patients’ sporadic visits to screen for conditions such as cervical cancer. Vista’s software platform is optimized to perform critical functions with very little internet connectivity. It can store data locally until devices sync with the cloud, greatly increasing the utility of its applications in remote areas of Botswana and elsewhere.

Additional 2016 results reported by Microsoft Philanthropies include these:

+ Through the TEALS program, helped engage 750 volunteers from more than 400 different companies to bring computer science education to students in 225 U.S. high schools

+ In partnership with Code.org, set a new record for the annual Hour of Code campaign, with 15 million trials, in 119 countries, of Minecraft coding tutorials

+ Aided refugees and displaced people in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece through more than $30 million in technology and funding to organizations such as Mercy Corps, CARE and NetHope

+ Delivered connectivity to remote schools, health clinics and community centers in 11 countries through the use of TV white spaces Entering its second year, Microsoft Philanthropies will grow its work with nonprofits to prepare people for jobs that require skills from basic digital literacy to advanced computer science, as well as increase support for humanitarian responders.

Nam Phuong