September Learning@Lunch With Microsoft Philanthropies

Our September Learning@Lunch was full of helpful insights from our guest speaker, Jane Broom of Microsoft Philanthropies.

Microsoft Philanthropies work to fulfill their goal of creating a future “where every person has the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to achieve more.” They do this through empowering people, investing in communities, and creating systemic change. Jane talked with us about some of the more specific goals of Microsoft Philanthropies and more generally, how nonprofits can connect with Microsoft.


Here are the biggest takeaways that we got from Jane’s presentation to the Corporate Giving Network.

  1.  Results from 2016
    In 2016, Microsoft employees worldwide raised US$142M from which 19,000 nonprofits benefitted. This is the sixth year in a row that employees raised more than US$100M. In Washington State, $62M was raised for 4,312 nonprofits.Nearly 16,000 employees worldwide volunteered 650,000 hours while in Washington State 350,000 volunteer hours were logged. Microsoft matches $25 per hour volunteered.
  2. October Give Fest
    Give fest is Microsoft’s annual nonprofit fair that aims to connect nonprofit organizations with employees who are passionate about making a difference. Every year, Microsoft’s Give Fest will select causes where they can make a difference. Microsoft will not tell employees which nonprofits to support however they will put a spotlight on nonprofits that are making a difference in their selected areas of focus.Make sure you pay attention to the focus of the October Give Fest and contact if your nonprofit is interested in participating.
  3. A raise in the matching program!
    Microsoft now matches up to $15,000 annually per employee. These gifts can be set up through a credit card, PayPal, or the employee’s payroll. Employee donors can submit match requests for donations made at any point in the last 12 months.
  4. Freedom to volunteer where they want
    As stated earlier, Microsoft does not tell its employees where they should volunteer. They want their employees to go out into the community and enjoy volunteering for a cause and an organization that is meaningful to them. They point employees to in finding organizations that have volunteering opportunities. This being the case, be sure your nonprofit is posting engagement opportunities on Benevity.
  5. Corporate Grants
    An audience member asked Ms. Broom how a corporate grant is awarded. Jane informed us that Microsoft corporate grants are difficult to acquire as the company, once it has made a decision who to support, is loyal to this donor year after year and usually does not switch recipients. The amount of money allocated to these grants are very steady, and they do not like to take a grant away from an organization once they have established it. A nonprofit also needs to be invited to take part in the grant process. Jane encouraged the audience to get funding through their employees.

Thank you very much to Jane Broom for taking the time to talk to the Corporate Giving Network. She provided excellent information and we feel very fortunate to have Microsoft in our backyard!