In the spirit of #CharityTuesday, we were lucky enough to attend the official Tech4Good day this month at Microsoft HQ in Reading.
Over the last 9 years, Microsoft have been doing great things for the charity sector. Not only have they made considerable efforts to donate more than £150m worth of technology to UK charities, they have worked to help organisations embrace data, understand their customers and increase social value with their Tech4Good Days. These complimentary events include talks from experienced Microsoft representatives, live software demonstrations and the opportunity to network with like minded charities.
It was fascinating to learn all about how technology can help solve so many common problems faced by charities today. Data, for instance, is one of the most important assets any organisation can embrace. Large businesses such as Uber, Facebook, Airbnb, Alibaba wouldn’t exist without data and it’s exactly the same for non for profit organisations.
Although many charities start out by exercising the ‘Reactive’ data model (a really basic way of collecting and analysing data), by working towards the ‘Transformative’ model, charities can actually begin to understand and use the data they collect from their members to drive change.
Another area we found interesting was the talk about TechSoup; a revolutionary mission which provides eligible organisations with affordable software, services, and training. TechSoup’s catalog is extensive and includes products from Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec and more. With an array of free and inexpensive products at their fingertips via TechSoup, charities can also access webinars and how to’s to support their digital literacy.
Furthermore, the live Microsoft’s Office 365 demonstration focused on increasing productivity. Charities can make the most of the software donation programme to download the software and use it from desktop to Iphone, office to commute. Microsoft Skype for Business had proved particularly useful for several members of the audience, allowing them to conduct group calls, share files and keep in touch for as little as £1.30 per user per month.
We came away from this event having learnt so much about how Microsoft are working with UK charities to inspire thought leadership, engage communities and most importantly, ignite ideas through technology. The bottom line is, charities really can use the resources available to them to change lives.
Thank you to Microsoft for having us! #Tech4Good