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Microsoft Expands Nonprofit Access to Technology With $25 Million 25th Anniversary Gift

Published 09-12-00

Submitted by Microsoft

As part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Microsoft Corp., president and CEO Steve Ballmer will today announce a $25 million commitment of cash and software to fund the Microsoft & NPower National Partnership. The partnership is a national rollout of NPower, a nonprofit-focused technology assistance organization. This national program will assist nonprofits in making more effective use of technology in their work with people and communities. Ballmer will also announce a list of several cities under consideration for new NPower programs, including New York and Dallas. He will also invite the technology industry and business community to support NPower's efforts through grants and volunteerism.

"Microsoft's 25th anniversary isn't about looking to our past, it's about moving ahead into the next 25 years," said Ballmer. "Microsoft believes that when people are provided the resources they need, they can accomplish great things. This is a philosophy that drives our business and our giving."

"It is through collaboration with the technology industry, business community and organizations like NPower that we can assist nonprofits in realizing the immense potential technology has on their vital work in human services, civic development, the arts and the environment," Ballmer continued. "By supporting the expansion of NPower we are empowering nonprofits nationwide and enhancing their ability to do amazing things for those they serve."

The announcement comes at a time when nonprofits are under pressure to improve performance in terms of accountability to their supporters and funders as well as to improve outreach to the communities they serve. Yet an estimated 72 percent of nonprofits lack in-house staff and access to affordable technology services that could be woven into their overall organizational plans to improve effectiveness.

Formed in March 1999 with start-up funding from Microsoft, The Medina Foundation, The Seattle Foundation and The Boeing Company, NPower ( is a nonprofit organization that offers no-cost and low-cost technology assistance to Puget Sound nonprofit groups. With NPower's assistance, nonprofits are able to utilize the potential in technology to further their good work. For example, a human services agency can spend more time on direct service by keeping records on a relational database; an environmental group can mobilize volunteers through e-mail; and an arts organization can widen an audience through online ticket sales.

"Before opening NPower there was a huge unmet need among nonprofits for affordable technology assistance," said Joan Fanning, executive director of NPower. "Our hands-on consulting, training and volunteer services help nonprofits discover, deploy and succeed with the technology that will let them work smarter, reach higher and do more. We are thrilled that Microsoft's support will extend our work to other cities across the United States."

"I commend Microsoft for committing over $25 million in funds and software to the national rollout of NPower," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. "Expanding this national program will benefit nonprofit organizations across the nation in helping to close the digital divide. Microsoft deserves great credit for this cutting-edge contribution."

"The future efficiency and viability of nonprofits is dependent upon access to technology and understanding of technology," said Irv Katz, vice president of community building at United Way of America. "Microsoft's continued involvement in supporting nonprofits, both with financial assistance and technology, demonstrates the company's strong commitment to working in partnership with the community and putting technology to work for people's critical needs."

The $25 million Microsoft & NPower National Partnership will allow NPower to expand into three to five additional cities a year over the next five years, ultimately creating new NPower programs in up to 12 cities. With assistance from NPower, communities will conduct a thorough community planning and assessment process, resulting in a business plan and commitments from local funders for an NPower program. Selected communities will receive start-up funding from Microsoft and technical assistance from NPower. Over time, the network of NPower programs is expected to become a powerful source of learning and best practices for nonprofit technology assistance nationally and even internationally.

About Microsoft's Community Affairs Program

Created in 1983, Microsoft's Community Affairs Program is one of the first philanthropic efforts in the high-tech industry. Overall, Microsoft seeks to empower people and communities in discovering a better future with a focus on expanding opportunities to disadvantaged communities, enhancing access to technology, creating vibrant communities where the company's employees live and work, and supporting its employees' giving and volunteerism. Last year, Microsoft gave more than $34.3 million in cash and $200 million in software to nearly 5,000 nonprofit organizations.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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