Microsoft is giving 'cash and technology' in its new philanthropic effort
The mission, which is an expansion of the company's current efforts, looks to follow CEO Satya Nadella's goals of empowering individuals and companies across the world by providing them with the technology they need.
"In the year ahead we will continue to ask ourselves what are the challenges mankind faces, how can technology help, and what [are] the contributions of Microsoft," said Nadella in a letter to shareholders.
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is well known for his philanthropic work. Gates came back to a day-to-day role at Microsoft when Nadella became CEO, although it is unclear if Gates had a hand in this decision.
"Microsoft Philanthropies will invest in digital inclusion programs and partnerships," said Smith. "These assets include our strategic societal investments of cash and technology, the technical talents of our employees, our commitment to creative and collaborative partnerships, and the reach and scale of our brand and voice."
Smith broke down the ways Microsoft would help:
- Cash: The company is going to donate to non-profits and expand on its current investments, such as the $75 million (£50 million) it has pledged to computer science education.
- Technical talent: Microsoft will let employees focus on community projects and will eventual move onto to "global hackathons" that look to solve issues.
- Partnerships: Microsoft is going to engage in "creative partnerships" with outside organisations, such as non-profits, giving them the company's knowledge and skills.
- Brand: The company is going to expand its public advocacy work and provide company employees with the technology they need to reach more people.
Corporate philanthropy is thriving in recent times. Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple has committed money to various causes and spoken out against questionable legal decision, such as hiring laws in US States that allow for discrimination against LGBT people.
Smith and Mary Snapp, a long-time Microsoft employee, will be running Microsoft Philanthropy.
Business Insider has reached out to Microsoft to clarify the details of its philanthropy efforts. We will update the post when we hear back.