Microsoft Offers Nonprofits Free Cloud Services

Microsoft’s philanthropy division has announced that they will donate $1 billion in cloud computing resources to nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations around the world over the next three years. The large contribution is part of an initiative that includes providing Microsoft cloud services, and expanding access to cloud resources for 900 faculty researchers at universities, reaching 20 underserved communities in 15 countries with broadband connectivity and cloud services.

Microsoft’s aim is to serve 70,000 nonprofits via one or more of the offerings in its cloud services suite by the close of 2017. The company will focus on increasing that number in subsequent years. In order to participate in this program, nonprofits must work through TechSoup (Microsoft’s partner) and satisfy a variety of eligibility requirements. Visit http://bit.ly/1RSECd2 to see if your organization is eligible for this program.

Report Details Volunteerism Efforts

The annual “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report issued by the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the National Conference on Citizenship reports that approximately one in four Americans volunteered for an organization in 2014 — which is consistent, since the increase that took place following the events of 9/11.

In addition, 62.5% of Americans engaged in some form of volunteer work in their communities, helping neighbors watch each other’s children, shopping or house sitting, to name just a few. The research also found that volunteers are almost twice as likely to donate to charity as non-volunteers, with almost 80% of volunteers donating, compared with 40% of non-volunteers.

This report can be used by your organization as a tool to help fine-tune your volunteer program. To maintain the current number of volunteers, it is a good idea to find out more about your volunteers’ skills and interests, assigning them to tasks accordingly. You can also offer incentives for volunteering, such as greater recognition, as well as free admittance to your events.

Nonprofits Warned about E-mail Scam

Published reports have indicated that more than two dozen organizations in Virginia, as well as organizations around the country, received e-mails from an individual in England who was not known to the organizations, offering a contribution of approximately $30,000.

The check-kiting scheme works as follows: after receiving the original e-mail, the nonprofit receives a check for $40,000. Another e-mail arrives at the same time, explaining that the overpayment is due to a clerical error, and asks the nonprofit to return the $10,000 excess payment. The targeted nonprofit might have deposited the check without realizing for several days that it bounced, during which time it might have sent the $10,000 “refund” — never to see that money again.

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