Delivering Social Impact through technology

At the recent Inspire conference in July 2021, the Microsoft lead of Technology for Social Impact, Justin Spelhaug spoke about new initiatives for not-for-profit organisations and shared the Microsoft vision for the non-profit sector. Engage Squared is one of the Technology for Social Impact (TSI) partners in Australia and New Zealand. Engage Squared’s Evangelist and NFP lead, Mark Woodrow explains what technology for social impact actually means.

Long history of philanthropy

Microsoft has a longstanding commitment to global corporate philanthropy. This year Microsoft will provide over US$2 billion in donated cloud services, software, and discounts to help hundreds of thousands of non-profits move to the cloud.

Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, and Melinda Gates are well known for their work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, launched in 2000. This is now the 2nd largest charitable foundation in the world, holding $49.8 billion in assets in 2020. The stated goals of the foundation are to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty across the world.

In September 2017, Microsoft announced the formation Technology for Social Impact group, dedicated to serving the world’s non-profit organisations. This new team set out to build the kind of robust ecosystem that today works so well for businesses, to help non-profits move to the cloud and provide the support they need.

Explaining how Microsoft’s Technology for Social Impact (TSI) works

In TSI, we are deeply committed to empowering every non-profit and humanitarian organisation with the technology to accelerate social good,Justin Spelhaug Vice President, Microsoft Technology for Social Impact

This is a massive undertaking, given that there are 4 million non-profits worldwide. So far TSI have reached or helped over 220,000 non-profit ‘mission driven’ organisations.

Technology for Social Impact is also social business within Microsoft, which reapplies the profits to public good initiatives. In addition to donating cloud services, software, and discounts to non-profits (estimated to be US$2 billion this year) TSI also invests in initiatives such as AI for Good, digital skills, and more.

The digital transformation opportunity in this sector is amazing.

One reason that demand will continue to rise is that the services that non-profits provide have never been more in need, and COVID-19 has made this a key driver.

The bottom line is this: the demand for social, environmental, and humanitarian
services that non-profits provide are under extreme pressure like never before, and technology will play an important role in helping organisations meet these challenges.
” – Justin Spelhaug Vice President, Microsoft Technology for Social Impact

Justin Spelhaug Vice President, Microsoft Technology for Social Impact

The challenge is enormous. Staggeringly, the number of people in extreme poverty – living on under AU$2.60 a day – worldwide has started to increase again during the Covid-19 pandemic.

What sort of expertise and discounts can non-profits access?

Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit – This brings together cloud capabilities into a common platform aligned to sector best practices, harnessing the Common Data Model and Dynamics 365.

Supports the most common NFP organisational scenarios. These include:

  • Helping organisations understand their donors and supporters to drive fundraising and engagement
  • Improving how organisations deliver programs including mobilising volunteers
  • Helping organisations accelerate mission outcomes by realising the full value of their data to gain critical mission insights
  • Building security into the heart of everything we do

NFP Discounts – For non-profit organisations which qualify, the majority of Microsoft’s software and SaaS solutions, such as M365 E3, and premium enterprise-class scenarios, such as M365 Enterprise E5, are made available at affordable prices (for example 60 percent or more off commercial pricing).

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Image: Microsoft

Partner with Engage – <people> friendly technology

Together with Microsoft, we can help non-profits raise more money, improve employee experience, increase efficiencies, and deliver the services on which their beneficiaries depend.

We have already assisted organisations with:

  • Building modern digital workplaces
  • Information management and migration
  • Enabling frontline workers to collaborate and work efficiently on mobile devices
  • Building power apps and workflows to reduce admin time and deliver better outcomes
  • Adoption and change management

To learn more about the the impact our work has had, read our case studies with St John Ambulance WA and the Aboriginal Legal Service. 

For more information about how Engage Squared can assist your organisation, contact our Technology for Social Impact (TSI) lead, Mark Woodrow, Microsoft Evangelist, Engage Squared.

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