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Microsoft wins national recognition by creating opportunities for youth

Last night, United Way recognized Microsoft with a Summit award for community impact. Microsoft and its employees donated $100.5 million to nonprofits and educational institutions in 2011, plus gave $844 million in software to more than 40,000 global nonprofits, including United Ways.

“Microsoft is unquestionably among the world’s leaders when it comes to innovative corporate citizenship,” said Brian Gallagher, United Way Worldwide president and CEO. “We’re proud of the long history we share together and Microsoft’s continued commitment to investing in education and communities.”

To help young people bridge the opportunity divide and gain the access, skills and opportunities they need to be successful, Microsoft provides a host of creative partnerships and programs. In addition, Microsoft supports employees’ volunteer hours with a $17/hour match. Employees recorded more than 426,000 hours – a 28% increase over 2010 – unleashing an additional $7.2 million in matching funds for U.S. nonprofits.

“Microsoft is focusing its citizenship work on creating opportunities for youth through technology, training and experiences that empower them to imagine and realize their full potential. By helping youth capture opportunities for education and employment, we are helping them create their futures and helping them create real impact for a better tomorrow,” said Lori Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship & Public Affairs, Microsoft. “No single company, organization or government can close the opportunity divide on their own. At Microsoft, we believe it's imperative to work together with partners such as United Way to address these issues.”

Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith helped raise $111 million, with $25 million to expand United Way of King County’s Parent-Child Home Program, including a $1 million grant from Microsoft. In keeping with Microsoft’s focus on youth, this program provides trained, certified home visitors and early literacy resources for low-income families to help children and families prepare for kindergarten. Akhtar Badshah, Microsoft’s senior director of Global Community Affairs, also serves as a director for United Way of King County.

Microsoft recently unveiled another creative way to help communities by leveraging the Microsoft Stores across the country. The Microsoft Store works with United Way to help raise awareness in a number of ways. For example, the Microsoft Store at University Village in Seattle gave away a Xbox 360 4G Kinect Bundle to customers who donated food during Hunger Action Week, and local organizations can use the space to hold meetings, host in-store events or learn new technology skills through personalized training sessions.

Microsoft also raised more than $90,000 for United Way in 2011 alone by selling an innovative photo book created by Microsoft employees.

The Spirit of America and Summit Awards program, celebrating its 25th year, is United Way’s highest national honor for corporations, recognizing United Way Global Corporate Leaders with the most comprehensive commitments to strengthening communities. Applicants are evaluated by corporate peers and local United Ways. Join the conversation on Twitter using hash tag #SpiritofAmerica or visit unitedway.org/SOA. 

About United Way

United Way is a worldwide network in 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit: www.UnitedWay.org. 

About Microsoft

Microsoft is focused on creating opportunities for youth through technology, training, and experiences that empower them to imagine and realize their full potential and make a real impact for a better tomorrow. Our longstanding partnership with United Way is an example of how technology can create opportunities for youth. For more information visit: http://www.microsoft.com/citizenship or follow us on Twitter at @msftcitizenship.

Media Contact

Amanda Ponzar
703-836-7112, ext 573