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Doing great things to unite technology and conservation – The Nature Conservancy

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Thanks for voting

We asked you to vote for nonprofits making a difference in your community, and you spoke up. The five winners will become our new local nonprofit partners, receiving $50,000 donations and technology to help them continue to #UpgradeYourWorld.

See more local nonprofits that #UpgradeYourWorld

Making a difference in your neighborhood

Our local nonprofit partners inspire change in their communities and across the globe. See how they carry out their mission to #UpgradeYourWorld.

#1
Boys & Girls Club of America
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#2
CityBridge Foundation
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#3
KIND
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#4
Student Veterans of America
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#5
Team Gleason
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#6
Ian Somerhalder Foundation
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#7
Earth Citizens Organization
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#8
KultureCity
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#9
Attitudes In Reverse
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#10
Dragon Master Foundation
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Are you a nonprofit? We’d like to help you do more good.
Windows 10 for nonprofits

Share your story

How do you #UpgradeYourWorld? Tell us about how you or someone you know inspires positive change.

Just rescued this guy from a local shelter and couldn’t be happier. #UpgradeYourWorld and adopt a new best friend.

From Twitter.

My son inspires me to #UpgradeYourWorld. He donated a bunch of his favorite toys to kids in need.

From Instagram.

Help us fight to save these majestic bears. Let's protect their icy ecosystem and #UpgradeYourWorld.

From Instagram.

These girls amaze me with what they can do in the lab every day. #girlpower #UpgradeYourWorld

From Facebook.

Solar panel installation complete! Making small changes to reduce our carbon footprint and #UpgradeYourWorld.

From Twitter.

$10 million to #UpgradeYourWorld

Along with 100 local nonprofits, these 10 global nonprofits were chosen by Microsoft—and you—for their consistent commitment to making the world a better place. Learn more about the #UpgradeYourWorld initiative.

Watch the video

How #UpgradeYourWorld Works

How were the first nine global and five local nonprofits chosen?

The first 14 nonprofit partners were selected by Microsoft. Each addresses a key societal issue with a consistent record for creating meaningful change in their communities and the world.

Who chose the tenth global and other five local nonprofits?

Voters like you. The winning nonprofits received the most votes and fulfilled the legal requirements.

What constitutes a “global” organization?

For the Upgrade Your World effort, “global” is defined as operating in more than one region of the world.

How much of Microsoft’s donation will actually reach the nonprofits?

All of it. 100%.

Upgrade Your World

Windows was built to help people do great things. Whether creating opportunities for youth, saving the environment, fighting hunger, enabling next generation farming, or inspiring 3D creation - Windows is built for those who do. In this spirit, we want to celebrate people and organizations who do great things and make a difference every day.

We seek to inspire and empower people around the world – to not just upgrade Windows, but also to upgrade the world. The opportunity is unique but it is true to the mission of the company and to the passion we each share to make a difference in the lives of our customers.

This year, we strive to make the most important upgrades. We’d love for you to join us. #UpgradeYourWorld.

Upgrade what you can do with Windows 10

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Beagle Freedom Project
Beagle Freedom Project

Beagle Freedom Project works to rescue animals in laboratories, tell their stories, and advocate for productive alternatives to animal testing. The organization promotes the release of animal testing victims through campaigns that engage the public and create tangible change for the community and for the animals. These rescues are the beating heart of Beagle Freedom Project.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit beaglefreedomproject.org.

Young girl outside
Young girl outside

Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We believe that every child deserves a strong start – the best chance now for a successful future. But too many children in need aren’t getting this chance. Together, we can change all that. Your support of Save the Children is an investment in childhood – giving children the essential early learning, first books and quality preschool they need to succeed. We can transform how a child’s future unfolds. Invest in a better future for a child in need.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit savethechildren.org.

Kids in classroom with computers
Kids in classroom with computers

Code.org is a 501c3 public non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Its vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. After launching in 2013, Code.org organized the Hour of Code campaign – which has introduced over 100 million students to computer science to date – partnered with 70 public school districts nationwide to expand computer science programs and offers a learning platform, Code Studio.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit code.org.

Girls in a classroom
Girls in a classroom

The Malala Fund empowers girls through quality secondary education to achieve their potential and inspire positive change in their communities. Co-founded in 2013 by student, education activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai and her father and teacher Ziauddin Yousafzai, the Malala Fund invests in and advocates for girls’ secondary education and amplifies the voices of adolescent girls globally.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit malala.org.

Young man wearing karatege
Young man wearing karatege

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than 1.4 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 94,000 games and competitions throughout the year.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit specialolympics.org.

Young boy in classroom smiling
Young boy in classroom smiling

Pencils of Promise (“PoP”) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 to increase access to quality education for children in the developing world. PoP works with communities across the globe to build schools and create programs that provide education opportunities for children, no matter where they were born, or what resources they have. PoP has built more than 300 schools throughout Laos, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Ghana, providing educational opportunities to more than 30,000 students, and has established itself as a leader amongst the innovative global nonprofits working toward sustainable social change.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit pencilsofpromise.org.

Young girl being held and smiling
Young girl being held and smiling

Keep a Child Alive (KCA) was founded in 2003 by AIDS activist Leigh Blake and 15-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys. The organization began as an emergency response to the HIV epidemic, raising global awareness about the urgent and unmet need for HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa, and granting funds to community-based organizations to provide free, life-saving treatment to prevent people living with HIV from needlessly dying.

KCA’s work has since grown to include the critical components necessary to support successful, life-long HIV treatment: holistic and comprehensive clinical care, psychosocial support, and nutritious food. The organization provides financial and programmatic support to seven innovative, grass-roots partners in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and India to fight the physical, social and economic impact of HIV on children, families and communities.

KCA and its partners are currently providing services to over 50,000 people annually, and their work has directly impacted the lives of over 300,000 people. With the help of its supporters, KCA continues to use its voice to raise awareness, mobilize people to take action, and rally resources in the global response to HIV.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit keepachildalive.org.

Baby turtle on beach
Baby turtle on beach

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres and 5,000 miles of rivers, and operate more than 100 marine conservation projects worldwide.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit nature.org.

Young girls smiling outside
Young girls smiling outside

The Global Poverty Project's mission is to grow the number and effectiveness of Global Citizens to achieve the public, business and political commitment and action to end extreme poverty by 2030. We are inspired by the incredible progress achieved by the global community in halving the percentage of people living in extreme poverty in the last 30 years. We know that the injustice of living on less than US$1.25 a day can be ended by 2030. We believe that when an organized, critical mass of individuals in society aspire to the values of Global Citizen, and when they are organized and equipped to take meaningful action, we can change the policies and practices that contribute to keeping people in extreme poverty.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit globalpovertyproject.com.

Female doctor with patient
Female doctor with patient

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year CARE worked in 90 countries and reached more than 72 million people around the world.

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit care.org.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF AMERICA
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF AMERICA

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people to achieve futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, over 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native Lands throughout the country. They serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. These clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs during critical non-school hours every day. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship as well as healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of America is proud of our longstanding partnership with Microsoft. Together, we have impacted the lives of millions of kids and teens by creating environments where dedicated Club staff can prepare them for a digital world and a great future.”

— Jim Clark, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit bgca.org/facebook or bgca.org/twitter.

CITYBRIDGE FOUNDATION
CITYBRIDGE FOUNDATION

CityBridge Foundation works to build a citywide system of excellent district and charter schools that serve all students in the District of Columbia. We seek out, develop, and invest in the talent and ideas needed to transform public education in the nation’s capital.

To ensure lasting impact for this work, we offer a suite of engagement opportunities for local leaders in business, philanthropy, and the community. Our goal is to equip these education champions with the knowledge and support they need to be advocates for continued, sustained progress in our schools.

“CityBridge Foundation is honored to be featured in Microsoft's Upgrade Your World campaign. For the past three years our partnership has supported teachers across Washington, D.C., in their efforts to close the opportunity gap for their students. With this continued recognition, we will ensure that the work continues and that our key insights are shared with others around the country.”

— Katherine Bradley, President, CityBridge Foundation

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit citybridgefoundation.org.

KIND
KIND

KIND protects unaccompanied children who enter the U.S immigration system alone, ensuring that no child appears in court without an attorney. Most of the children KIND serves have fled severe violence in their home countries to seek safety, but do not have an attorney to help them make their case for U.S. protection in their deportation proceedings. Many have been threatened or attacked by gangs, abandoned, abused, exploited, or trafficked. KIND provides pro bono attorneys largely through our partnerships with over 280 major law firms, corporations, law schools, and bar associations which have agreed to represent children referred to KIND at no cost. KIND also helps children returning to Guatemala from the U.S. by working to ensure their safe and sustainable reintegration into their communities. KIND is expanding this work in the region and enhancing its advocacy to protect child migrant’s rights and safety before, during and after migration.

“KIND is extremely honored to be a part of Microsoft’s Upgrade Your World Initiative and greatly appreciates the support of KIND’s work protecting unaccompanied children who come to the U.S. seeking safety. The initiative will help KIND find more pro bono attorneys for these children through our innovative public-private partnership with law firms, corporations, and law schools, and—most importantly— change the lives of hundreds of children, providing protection and stability that many of them have not known in a long time, if ever.”

— Wendy Young, President, KIND

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit supportkind.org.

STUDENT VETERANS OF AMERICA
STUDENT VETERANS OF AMERICA

The mission of Student Veterans of America (SVA) is to provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy they need to experience success in higher education. SVA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that represents nearly 440,000 student veterans and is comprised of more over 1200 chapters in all 50 states and four countries overseas. We have three primary areas of focus. First, we aim to help veterans become better informed consumers of their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. In our first couple of years, we were instrumental in helping pass the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Second, we support student veterans on campus through peer-based chapter mentoring, leadership programs designed to grow sustainable chapters, and scholarships and grants. Through strategic partnerships we have already awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships and grants, including $500,000 to help student veterans build veteran resource centers on their campuses.

Lastly, we help student veterans transition into the workforce by partnering with corporations that focus on developing pipelines of veteran talent and demonstrate strong cultivation of organizational support for veterans.

“Student Veterans of America (SVA) is honored to be a part of Microsoft’s Upgrade Your World Initiative and is extremely appreciative for the support of SVA’s work to assist service members through the transformative power of higher education. When combined with the civilian credential of a degree or certificate, military veterans are an unstoppable force that can drive the U.S. economy. We are thrilled to have a thought partner in Microsoft to help cultivate pipelines of this country’s top talent, educated military veterans.”

— D. Wayne Robinson, President & CEO

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit studentveterans.org.

TEAM GLEASON
TEAM GLEASON

Team Gleason has 3 primary areas of focus. One is to help provide individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading edge technology, equipment and services. Another strong focus is creatively enhancing the global conversation about ALS to ultimately find solutions and an end to the disease. And finally, we raise public awareness toward ALS by providing and documenting extraordinary life adventures for individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries.

“We are honored and excited to be part of the Upgrade Your World Campaign. I have always said, ‘until there is a medical cure for ALS, technology can be that cure’. Our mission is to develop and provide leading edge technology for those with ALS, and other neuromuscular diseases or injuries. In essence, our focus has always been to upgrade people's world. Thanks again for this honor.”

— Steve Gleason, President, Team Gleason

To learn more about how they are upgrading the world, visit teamgleason.org.

Ian Somerhalder Foundation was established in November 2010 as a California nonprofit corporation. The purpose of the Foundation is to advance science; promote the conservation of natural resources, such as forests, lands, and wildlife, for the benefit of the entire community; provide relief to the poor, distressed, and underprivileged; and support other organizations conducting activities under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation aims to empower, educate, and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures by providing programs and services, conducting fundraising events and providing financial disbursements to other tax-exempt organizations, groups and individuals whose ultimate purposes are to conserve the environment and protect animals.

"On behalf of ISF, we are beyond excited to be involved with Microsoft Corporation and their Upgrade Your World initiative to make the world a better place. Microsoft’s generous donation to the IS Foundation will tremendously help to further our mission to empower young people, end animal abuse and create greener practices. Thank you, Microsoft, for your continuous commitment to help foundations such as ISF."

— Ian Somerhalder, President

Earth Citizens Organization (ECO) works to develop leadership as the driving force for implementing positive change in communities for a healthier and more sustainable world. Since its establishment in September 2013, ECO has trained more than 500 leaders through our HEROES leadership programs. The graduates of our programs are serving their community by teaching outreach exercise classes, creating community initiatives, and helping other charitable causes. Although they work in diverse areas, one common element that ties them together is the spirit of Earth Citizenship, which helps us remember the Earth in all the choices we make in our daily lives and willingly do what is necessary for the well-being of the planet and all life forms on it. Our goal is reaching 1% of the world population and helping them to incorporate the spirit of Earth Citizenship into their mindset and daily life.

“ECO is very proud of being a partner with Microsoft in our collective efforts to make our world a better place. We believe through this partnership we can reach more people and help them do great things for the planet and all its inhabitants."

— Steve Kim, Executive Director, Earth Citizens Organization

To learn more about ECO, please visit www.earthcitizens.org

KultureCity is an impact driven nonprofit founded in 2013 in Birmingham, Alabama with the mission to create a world where all individuals with autism and their families can be accepted and treated equally. We fundamentally believe that these children are not limited by their diagnosis and deserve a future without limits. Our programs reflect our mission to change the kulture on how autism is viewed in our world today. To date, we have helped more than 14893 individuals with our toy and tablet programs, as well as the lifeBOKS initiative that helps prevent wandering and wandering related accidents/deaths in children with autism. We have also launched several sensory friendly initiatives that focus on making local attractions and restaurants sensory friendly. At the end of the day, we are most proud of the community of acceptance that we have created. A community where all individuals with autism and their families not only feel loved but empowered.

"KultureCity is truly blessed and humbled to have been selected to partner with Microsoft to be a part of Microsoft's Upgrade Your World Initiative. This collaboration will help us continue to fund many of our projects including lifeBOKS, Toys AUcross America and tableKULTURE; all aimed to create a world where children with autism can have a chance at a better and brighter future. Thank you Microsoft for standing with KultureCity."

— Julian Maha, M.D (Founder and CEO of KultureCity)

Attitudes In Reverse® (AIR™) was established by Tricia, Kurt and Katelyn Baker of Plainsboro, NJ, in 2010, soon after their son/brother Kenny died by suicide following a long battle against severe depression and anxiety. Their mission is to save lives by educating students about mental health, related disorders and suicide prevention. Since January 2011, they have presented to more than 20,000 students in middle and high schools and colleges in New Jersey, New York and Vermont. AIR™ recently began offering Youth Mental Health First AID instructions. AIR™ includes the AIR Dogs: Paws for Minds™program, bringing dogs into schools to help students de-stress and engage in the conversation about mental health. In addition, displaced dogs with the ability to serve as Emotional Support Dogs, are matched with individuals who have mental health disorders or developmental disabilities, thereby saving two lives with each match. For more information about AIR™, please visit www.attitudesinreverse.org or call 609-945-3200.

"At the conception of Attitudes In Reverse® (AIR™) our vision was to talk to every student across the country about AIR's life saving message of good mental health and suicide prevention. AIR™ consists of a very small group of volunteers, both human and canine, who are driven to help save lives, and to date, we have educated 20,000 students in three states, New York, New Jersey and Vermont. We are deeply grateful to Microsoft for a program that recognizes people whose life's purpose is to help others, and receiving the Microsoft Upgrade Your World USA grant is an unbelievable honor. We are very appreciative of our AIR Heroes, from across the globe, who understand AIR's mission of saving young lives, and showed their support by voting daily. The recognition AIR™ receives from the Microsoft Upgrade Your World USA honor, validates our mission and will help us realize our vision, coast to coast, of talking to more students with the message that no one should ever be embarrassed or afraid of seeking treatment for a biological brain based illness."

— Tricia Baker, Co-founder of Attitudes In Reverse

Dragon Master Foundation is focused on developing and implementing technology to empower cancer researchers to collaborate with each other, discover new pathways for treatments, and bring about real change in the world of research and clinical care. Earlier this year, our founder, Amanda Haddock, was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Precision Medicine for efforts in this regard. Our pilot project is in conjunction with seven pediatric hospitals and several other foundations who have all come together to build a global, perpetual resource to put the power of big data into the hands of researchers everywhere – regardless of their institutional resources. The database will aid research efforts and precision medicine initiatives in the pediatric space. The initial focus is on pediatric high grade gliomas, a particularly deadly form of brain cancer that has notoriously little data and hardly any infrastructure to support data collection. We want to bring hope to children who are deemed terminal upon diagnosis.

"We are simply thrilled to win this grant from Microsoft, who has long been recognized as a leader in both technology and philanthropy. We believe the technology innovations we are working on will bring about better treatments and cures for cancer and other diseases and being able to partner with Microsoft to further develop our projects is a priceless opportunity."

— President, Dragon Master Foundation

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