How do you keep 1.2 million children from dropping out of school each year? How do you ensure children entering school are ready to learn? How do you awaken a passion for science and math? How can one corporation change the world of a child for the better?
You do it one conversation, one game, one program at a time like Microsoft does. Last year, Microsoft donated $603 million in funding and software to multiple charities around the world. The technology giant worked closely with United Way in developing technology and programs designed to advance education.
“Microsoft is maximizing all its resources, from financial to software to employee expertise, to improve education and help young people and communities,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “Their innovation, creativity and commitment set them apart as a leader and exemplary corporate citizen that is taking measurable steps to create a brighter future for all of us.”
From town hall software that started an online conversation on reducing drop-out rates to creating STEM programs, Microsoft leads the way. When low-income preschoolers in King County, Wa., needed additional help preparing for school, Microsoft raised $8.6 million for the Parent-Child Home Program. Since 2006, Microsoft provided communities with $23 million in matching grant programs. And the company didn’t just give money. It gave time as well. Microsoft employees have given 363,000 hours of their time to education and philanthropic projects.
In recognition of the many initiatives Microsoft spearheaded and donated to, the United Way awarded the company last week two Summit awards for donations and innovations in technology and software programs built to improve education.
“At Microsoft, we have a long and proud partnership with United Way that goes back to our first formal community efforts in 1983,” said Pamela Passman, corporate vice president for Microsoft’s global corporate affairs. “They are an important part of our commitment to helping create opportunities and solve local challenges in communities across the country and our partnership continues to grow. In 2010, Microsoft and its employees donated more than $14.3 million in cash, software, and in-kind contributions to United Way organizations worldwide, including $3 million in direct employee contributions, plus over 5,000 employees volunteered during the year. We look forward to continuing this valued partnership to help those in need across the United States.”