Five inspiring nonprofits have been handpicked by Australians to each receive US$50K #UpgradeYourWorldAU

Blog post attributed to Anna Howarth, Citizenship Manager, Microsoft Australia

As part of Microsoft Australia’s Windows 10 #UpgradeYourWorldAU initiative, Australians have helped us crowdsource five local nonprofits to each receive a donation of US$50,000.

Our winners are:

  • Edgar’s Mission
  • Bottle for Botol
  • Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST Australia)
  • Engineers Without Borders
  • Ovarian Cancer Australia

We have been blown away by the support that Australians have shown for local nonprofits. We are incredibly proud to announce the five winners that will each receive a US$50,000 grant from Microsoft.

More often than not, the great work from our local nonprofits goes unnoticed. #UpgradeYourWorldAU gives us the opportunity to celebrate some of the great work that goes on behind the scenes – and we look forward to seeing how the donations will benefit each organisation in supporting them to achieve their vision.


Edgar’s Mission

Nestled into the rolling fields surrounding the picturesque Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia, is a not for profit haven for rescued farmed animals.  Established in 2003, Edgar’s Mission seeks to create a humane and just world, while rescuing and providing sanctuary to animals in need. With a simple mission of kindness Edgar’s Mission works to expand the public’s circle of compassion to include all animals through education, advocacy, community enrichment, and farm tours.

“We here at Edgar’s Mission truly believe that the way we treat animals says so much about who we are as human beings, and we recognise that each and every day it is the choices we make that can upgrade the world to a kinder place for all. With this in mind Edgar’s Mission is beyond delighted to be chosen as a partner in Microsoft’s #UpgradeYourWorldAU initiative. With a US$50,000 shot in our kindness arm we will be able create even more meaningful changes in the world for animals, humans and the planet.  We sincerely thank and commend Microsoft for celebrating not for profit groups like ours and thank all those who voted for us,” Pam Ahern, Founder and Director, Edgar’s Mission.

Bottle for Botol

Bottle for Botol is an Australian organisation that is leading generational change away from single-use plastics. This is achieved through a simple water bottle exchange program, which generates partnerships between Australian and Indonesian schools. Through the school-based program, students explore the key components of sustainability through social enterprise, cultural awareness and solutions to plastic waste.

“Bottle for Botol empowers students to reduce their own consumption of single use plastics and to raise awareness for this issue throughout the broader Australian public. We’re really excited to have been voted into Microsoft’s #UpgradeYourWorldAU initiative and hope to increase our student participation and outcomes and generate strong partnerships between our Australian and Indonesian schools through Microsoft’s support,” Christine Parfitt, Founder and Managing Director, Bottle for Botol.

Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (Fast Australia)

The Foundation of Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics Australia (FAST Australia) was founded in 2010 by parents seeking a cure for the rare and debilitating genetic condition Angelman Syndrome. FAST Australia has developed a practical and achievable action plan, funding over $500,000 in research and awareness programs in its first five years of operation.

“As an organisation representing the rare, little known condition Angelman Syndrome, we are ecstatic to be partnering with one of the world’s most well known and loved brands to create a brighter future for our children and Upgrade our World,” Meagan Cross, Chairperson, Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics Australia (FAST Australia).

Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) was founded in 2003 with the belief that engineers, working with communities and aligned organisations, can lift people out of poverty using humanitarian engineering. EWB’s philosophy is to create development through patient capacity building. We empower local partners and communities to identify their needs, share knowledge and to connect communities with the appropriate resources to create long-term systematic change.

“We’re proud at Engineers Without Borders Australia to be part of the #UpgradeYourWorldAU movement in partnership with Microsoft and a number of other organisations who we respect and admire.  Financially, the US$50,000 will be used to grow our humanitarian engineering programs, increasing our ability to create a world free from poverty. More importantly it’s been the support and passion of our community, through their votes and messages that has come as a welcome reminder of the shared belief that a better world awaits us all,” Acting Chief Executive Office, Jane Hadjion, Engineers Without Borders.

Ovarian Cancer Australia

Ovarian Cancer Australia is an independent national organisation that takes action for people affected by ovarian cancer in Australia. Ovarian Cancer Australia was founded in 2001 by a group of people who had been affected by ovarian cancer, either themselves or through someone they loved. Ovarian Cancer Australia provides support for women and their families, raises community awareness of ovarian cancer, advocates for improved services for women and funds and promotes and funds research.

“Ovarian Cancer Australia is thrilled to be one of five winners of the Microsoft’s UpgradeYourWorldAU initiative. Microsoft’s generous prize money of US$50,000 will help fund our vital work in Support, Awareness, Advocacy and Research  and to achieve our vision to save lives and to ensure that no woman with ovarian cancer walks alone,” Jane Hill, Chief Executive Officer, Ovarian Cancer Australia.

Today’s announcement of five Australian non-profit donations is part of the global Windows 10 #UpgradeYourWorld initiative, that celebrates people and organisations doing great things, with a total global investment of US$10 million.

To nominate an Australian organisation, the community was asked to jump on social media, use the hashtags #UpgradeYourWorldAU and tag their favourite nonprofit on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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