Microsoft Announces Tech-Driven Philanthropic Initiative
The tech titan outlines a new corporate giving program anchored by the concept of making technology accessible to all communities.On Dec. 1, Facebook's billionaire co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to give 99 percent of their fortune to charity, thrusting the philanthropic efforts of those in technology circles into the spotlight. This week, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith outlined some of the steps his influential company is taking to combat poverty. "Today we're announcing an expanded commitment to our corporate philanthropy around the world with a broader ambition and a new organization within the company, Microsoft Philanthropies, to make this ambition a reality," said Smith in a Dec. 15 announcement. Microsoft Philanthropies is headed by Corporate Vice President Mary Snapp, a 27-year Microsoft veteran. Lori Forte Harnick, general manager of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Microsoft, will act as the group's chief operating officer. The initiative is centered on the ideas of improving access to technology, advocating STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and championing accessibility for people with disabilities.
"Through Microsoft Philanthropies, we will contribute in new and more impactful ways to a societal ecosystem that connects the benefits of technology to those who need it most and work harder to drive inclusive growth of the global economy," stated Smith. "We will strive to bridge gaps within and across communities through more widespread access to technology that enhances the productivity and quality of life for the people of those communities."