REDMOND, Wash., July 21, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the donation of more than $6.4 million in software grants to seven national nonprofit organizations. The Nonprofit Technology Leadership Grants will provide much-needed technology resources for program innovations and administrative upgrades within each organization, which represent a range of interests from children’s advocacy to environmental preservation.
Grants ranging in value from $165,000 to $1,655,000 (based on the software’s estimated retail value) were awarded to The March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Second Harvest National Food Bank Network, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH).
Each Nonprofit Technology Leadership Grant will provide technology upgrades and enhancements that the organizations need to better meet their objectives. Microsoft’s goal with the Nonprofit Technology Leadership Grant program is to provide software solutions for nonprofit organizations with multiple locations to help enhance communications and organizational efficiency, make use of the Internet, and improve the delivery of service to those in need.
“Microsoft is proud to support these nonprofit organizations and is pleased that our software gift can help them focus on what’s most important – the people and missions they serve,”
said Barbara Dingfield, director of community affairs at Microsoft.
This is the second year of the donation program. The 1997 recipients, National Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), National Urban League Inc., and Youth Villages have put their grants in place and boast a wide range of effective technology solutions fueled by the software donation from Microsoft.
“Microsoft’s grant last year to National CASA appreciably raised the level of the computer capabilities of the CASA network,”
said Michael S. Piraino, CEO of CASA.
“This directly translates to improved services for abused and neglected children. Most important, this software has allowed CASA programs across the country to use COMET, a case management and volunteer tracking tool we’ve just distributed, which will be instrumental in measuring the effectiveness of our work for children.”
This year’s grant recipients follow:
The March of Dimes, White Plains, N.Y. The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by reducing birth defects and infant mortality. The March of Dimes will use its gift of over
$1.6 million in software to keep administrative users up to date and to offer March of Dimes team members programs that the organization could not normally afford. This upgrade will reduce technology costs, and the March of Dimes plans to put those savings directly back in its coffers to help support social service objectives.
The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Va.
The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation organization, works to preserve the diversity of life on Earth through habitat protection. TNC received over $1.6 million in software to meet three pressing issues: year 2000 compliance, maintaining a uniform desktop environment and migrating to Web-enabled applications.
“Microsoft’s slogan, ‘Where do you want to go today?’ is a very appropriate question the conservancy has asked of itself,”
said John C. Sawhill, president and chief executive officer of The Nature Conservancy.
“Our short answer to it is that we want to cross over state boundaries to protect biodiversity wherever it lives. To work as one organization toward this goal, we know one of the keys to our success is providing our staff with a common set of tools to communicate and exchange ideas and best practices.”
Second Harvest National Food Bank Network, Chicago Second Harvest, the nation’s largest charitable hunger relief organization, has a national network of 187 regional food banks that distribute donated food and grocery products from manufacturers, producers, growers, institutional commissaries, restaurants and salvage operations to more than 26 million hungry Americans each year. Second Harvest has initiated a major system conversion called The Enterprise Project, which seeks to align its network capabilities with food industry practices and needs. To this end, the over $1.4 million donation of Microsoft software will help buffer the cost of this significant undertaking.
Ronald McDonald House Charities, Oak Brook, Ill. Ronald McDonald House Charities provides comfort and care to children and families through its network of local charities in 27 countries. RMHC received $914,000 in software from Microsoft to enhance its office environment for its local charities and to provide software programs for computers in each Ronald McDonald House to enable parents to continue to work away from their offices and allow the children (both patients and their siblings) to keep up with their homework and communicate with friends.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Washington Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s goal is to enrich America’s communities and countryside by creating a nationwide network of public trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors. RTC has begun development of a wide area network, and it will use its $378,000 worth of donated Microsoft software to standardize software across its local area network and wide area network.
Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, Phoenix Make-A-Wish Foundation of America’s mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. Its gift from Microsoft of $237,000 in software will help the national office and its chapters provide a common software platform throughout the organization. The software donation will enable chapters with standalone computers to create a networked environment, allowing chapter personnel to share data and communicate via e-mail.
Corporation for Supportive Housing, New York The Corporation for Supportive Housing focuses on ending homelessness in America by supporting local efforts to increase the supply of permanent housing enriched with supportive social services for homeless people with disabilities and special needs. CSH plans to utilize its $165,000 Microsoft software grant to upgrade and standardize user software, improve Internet access and develop a wide area network linking its nine offices with public and private sector partners around the country.
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