SOMETHING TO TECH ABOUT: Q&A with Microsoft's Tech for Social Impact Team

Tech Impact is thrilled to have Microsoft as a partner for the Tech Forward Conference in Austin, TX on September 30th – October 2nd. We are also excited that Erik Arnold, CTO of Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact team will be one of our stellar speakers during the conference.

Take a look at our recent Q&A with the Tech for Social Impact team and get some insight into why nonprofits are important to Microsoft, what they see as the biggest technology opportunities for nonprofits and what they’re most looking forward to at this year’s Tech Forward conference.

Tech Forward Conference Productive Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, Austin, TX, #TechForward18, Register Now


How is Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact team helping nonprofits?

Tech for Social Impact is focused on the success of the entire nonprofit sector and humanitarian organizations around the world. Our mission is to bring the power of technology to every nonprofit to accelerate social impact. We provide our greatest resources – our technology, our voice, cash grants, and employee giving – to drive this acceleration.

In early 2016, Microsoft Philanthropies committed to donating $1 billion in cloud computing resources, over three years, to help 70,000 nonprofit organizations digitally scale their impact and serve the public good. In just 18 months, we surpassed that goal, and now over the next three years we are working to triple the number of nonprofits we serve to 300,000 through technology donations and discounts, nonprofit specific solutions, technical support, and our partner ecosystem.

Why are nonprofits such an important area of focus for Microsoft?

At Microsoft, we believe technology is a powerful force for empowering people and organizations. We truly believe that the success of the nonprofit sector is critical to how we achieve our mission as a company. But to do this, we must make the benefits of world-class technology accessible, affordable and relevant for nonprofits.

What technologies present the biggest opportunities for nonprofits?

The impact a nonprofit can have is largely a function of capital, labor and resources, and in a world with increasing funding constraints, the only variables are productivity and innovation. 

In order for nonprofits to meet the challenges facing society in the 21st century, an exponential improvement in both productivity and innovation is required, and the technology sector needs to play its part in unlocking this potential.

We believe technology and digital transformation are key to improving nonprofit productivity and innovation, and it starts by using a secure, private and compliant platform. Next, there are four core areas to focus on to drive digital transformation in your organization:

  1. Engaging donors, volunteers and beneficiaries for community connection and participation.
  2. Empowering employees to be productive and creative.
  3. Optimizing operations from field to office.
  4. Innovating for impact to accelerate the mission.

We have a wide range of nonprofit technology solutions, both on-premises and cloud solutions, for nonprofits of all sizes. We’ve worked closely with nonprofit organizations around the world, including Medical Teams International, to help accelerate their organizational transformation with technology.

What made Microsoft want to get involved with the Tech Forward Conference?

We are inspired by the success of nonprofits that are using technology to change the way they work. But in order to truly empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, we need to do more. That’s why we stand behind Tech Forward’s goal of looking past day-to-day IT and towards mission-focused, transformative applications of technology, and why we are proud to support the Tech Forward Conference as a venue for nonprofits to share insights and accelerate impact.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?

We look forward to continuing our partnership with Tech Impact and the community at Tech Forward and learning how we can better support the digital transformation journey of like-minded nonprofits.


Register for the Tech Forward Conference and meet Microsoft's Tech for Social Impact team to learn more about its discounted products and how they can help your nonprofit.

Tech Forward Conference, Informed, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, Austin, TX, #TechForward18, Register Now
Have technology questions or want to learn more about how Tech Impact can help your nonprofit?