Microsoft Citizenship Community Affairs Fact Sheet 2004


Microsoft and its employees have long recognized the importance of being engaged in supporting communities around the world. In the last fiscal year, Microsoft contributed more than US$40 million in cash and $224 million in software to nearly 5,000 nonprofit organizations.

Microsoft believes that people can do amazing things if they have the tools and resources. Microsoft®
Unlimited Potential (UP) is a global program focused on partnering with others to provide technology skills for underserved young people and adults through community-based technology and learning centers (CTLCs). Microsoft’s 20-year history of community engagement has also fostered a variety of key community partnerships built on the mutual commitment to find sustainable technology solutions that make real and lasting differences in people’s lives.

Microsoft believes that by providing technology training and tools, we can assist in creating social and economic opportunities that can transform communities and help people realize their potential.


In today’s knowledge-based economy, computer literacy has become a vital workplace skill — a skill that millions of people worldwide still lack.

The mission of Unlimited Potential is to help narrow the technology skills gap and aid global work-force development by providing technology skills through community technology and learning centers (CTLCs). Beginning in 2003, Microsoft has committed more than $1 billion in cash, software, curriculum and technology assistance to Unlimited Potential and other programs to bridge the digital divide over the next five years. The key to the program’s success will be partnering with nonprofit organizations, governments and businesses worldwide to promote technology literacy and skills.

Unlimited Potential offers a comprehensive program to the digital divide issue by bringing together the critical components of:

Unlimited Potential (UP) Grants — Unlimited Potential Grants will be used to enhance and enrich access and training opportunities available to individuals who are underserved by technology.

Software Donations — An expanded software donation program will be created for CTLCs so that they have access to the most current productivity applications necessary to compete in the global economy.

Unlimited Potential Curriculum — Unlimited Potential curriculum emphasizes real-world applications and course material. It will initially be available in French, Spanish, English and German, and may be modified and/or reproduced to meet the local learning needs of the community.

Community Technology Support Network — Microsoft will work with others to create a community-based support network delivering technology curriculum, research, tools and services to CTLCs worldwide.


Microsoft Community Affairs programs focus on improving the quality of life for underserved individuals in countries and communities around the world. Through monetary grants, software, technology solutions and curriculum donations and employee volunteer hours, Microsoft supports numerous projects and organizations around the world to expand opportunities through technology access and training. Examples include:

Unlimited Potential Grants — Unlimited Potential (UP) grants are distributed to nonprofit organizations around the world. UP grants are made through Microsoft’s U.S. and international subsidiaries, working closely with local organizations to identify community-based centers where IT skills training is a primary focus. A sample of recipient organizations includes:

  • BreakAway Technologies — Located in Los Angeles, BreakAway Technologies has been working with Microsoft since 1997 to provide computer access to disadvantaged individuals in 216 community technology and learning centers (CTLCs) throughout the United States, Africa and the Caribbean. BreakAway will use its UP grant to hire IT instructors, and support IT skills training and IT career development programs.

  • Latin American Youth Center – Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) was established in 1968 to serve “at-risk” immigrant Latino Youth in the Washington, D.C. area. Currently LAYC works with over 5,000 individuals from diverse, low income communities providing a broad array of IT skills training programs. Since 2003, LAYC has received support from Microsoft for LAYC’s Adult Bilingual Computer Literacy Program.

  • The Mona Foundation — In Panama, Microsoft is partnering with the Mona Foundation to establish the first CTLC in the indigenous community of Ngbe Bugl. The center will provide basic computer skills and technical training for teachers, students and community members during after-school hours. This center will be the first introduction of computer technology, Internet access and potential e-commerce opportunities to this remote region.

  • Charter 77 Foundation — In the Czech Republic, the Charter 77 Foundation provides assistance to individuals with disabilities. It will use its Microsoft UP grant to fund Computers Against Barriers, a program providing IT training to individuals with disabilities, helping them develop professional skills ranging from basic computer literacy to technical certification.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America – Microsoft has teamed with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 2000 to improve access and the skills necessary for children and young adults to use technology. Through this initiative, called Club Tech, technology is being integrated into the program structure at more than 3,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationally, at U.S. military bases abroad and at more than 100 clubs in Canada.

Libraries – In conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an independent private foundation, and other corporate partners, Microsoft has donated more than $160 million in software aimed at expanding public access to computing and the Internet at public libraries in underserved areas across the United States. Computers have been installed in public libraries of every U.S. county where 10 percent or more of the population falls below the poverty line. That amounts to more than 47,000 computers in almost 11,000 libraries in small towns and big cities in every state in the country. The program also supports libraries in Canada and Chile.

Diversity Institutions – In collaboration with the United Negro College Fund, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and other organizations, Microsoft supports expanding the benefits of technology to students, faculty, and administrators at selected African American and Native American colleges and universities in the United States.

Microsoft and NPower National Partnership – Microsoft helped establish NPower, a nonprofit technology assistance provider, to assist other nonprofits in using technology to fulfill their mission and deliver services. In September 2000, Microsoft announced a five-year, $25 million program called the Microsoft & NPower National Partnership to bring this successful program to 12-15 cities across the United States. Local funders have partnered with Microsoft to support the launch of affiliates in Arizona, Atlanta, Colorado, Indiana, Los Angeles, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Seattle.

Disaster Relief Response — Microsoft has been responsive to humanitarian and disaster relief efforts around the world by providing cash assistance and by funding the development of technology solutions to aid relief efforts.

  • Microsoft has also been working with Save the Children, Mercy Corps and the UN’s World Food Program to develop technology solutions to help non-government organizations improve their responsiveness and effectiveness. The Microsoft Humanitarian Empowerment and Response through Technology (HEART) program develops technical solutions for the international relief community responding to manmade and natural disasters

  • Microsoft has donated cash to various international relief and development agencies in assisting with disaster relief efforts in countries such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Taiwan, India, Iran and Turkey.

  • In the wake of the September 11 attacks Microsoft augmented its corporate and employee donations with technical assistance and support to address both the immediate crises and long-term rebuilding projects in the affected areas. Microsoft developed database solutions for the United Way, Red Cross and other nonprofit groups that support these communities. By pulling together resources from across the company and coordinating with its partners, Microsoft was able to help hundreds of organizations quickly restore their technology infrastructure and get back to work.

Community Giving – Microsoft supports organizations in U.S. communities where our employees live and work. The majority of these donations are made in King and Snohomish counties in Washington State, where the Company and its employees are a significant portion of the community.

Employee Giving- Microsoft believes in the support of employees’ individual acts of giving and the organizations that inspire them. Through its dollar-for-dollar matching program for US-based employees, Microsoft dedicates a large portion of its Community Affairs budget to allow employees to direct corporate contributions to thousands of nonprofit organizations working to improve lives in the U.S. and around the world. In FY04, through the Employee Giving Campaign, Microsoft employee donations and the corporate match totaled more than $ 32.7million in cash.

United Way Loaned Executive Program — The annual United Way Loaned Executive Program is aimed at assisting local Puget Sound area businesses develop and execute on their yearly giving campaigns. Through the program, companies like Microsoft loan out some of their best and brightest executives for 16 weeks (Sept-Dec), to serve as an extension of the United Way to work with 30-80 Puget Sound area businesses. Microsoft has participated in this program for approximately five years, and loaned out five executives in 2003.

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For press inquiries contact: Amy Jorgenson, Weber Shandwick, 425-452-5404, [email protected]

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