A volunteer talks to visitors at Midway museum

Microsoft expands nonprofit reductions and grants to public libraries and public museums

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A volunteer talks to guests on the USS Halfway, a floating museum in San Diego, Calif. {Photograph}: The Halfway Museum

On an idyllic, bluebird day in downtown San Diego, guests to the USS Halfway Museum come aboard the historic plane service to study its 47 years of service historical past in america Navy. At any given time, 50 or so volunteers are welcoming and internet hosting museum guests as they expertise the ship’s mission: “That freedom is value defending and preserving at residence and much out at sea.”

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our group,” says Halfway Basis president Laura White. “We have now over 700 energetic volunteers that make our mission come to life. They’re principally one other set of our workers, and we wouldn’t be capable to do the work we do with out them.”

However the museum had two separate IT methods and processes: one for managing volunteers and one other for managing financial donors. “A patron would give us a money present and I might pull up a file and do not know the connection that they had with our group. Sure, possibly they gave a $5,000 money donation, however they’ve additionally been volunteering each Saturday for the final 18 years. It was simply unattainable to know.”

In the course of the Covid pandemic, the USS Halfway expanded their digital programming to people throughout all 50 states in america. Nevertheless, because the USS Halfway Museum prepares to have fun their 20th anniversary in 2024 and embarks on their largest capital marketing campaign of their historical past, they knew it was extra vital than ever to modernize their methods and processes.

Globally, libraries and museums – just like the USS Halfway – play a vital position within the preservation and enrichment of cultural heritage all over the world. In addition they present vital social infrastructure providers like job search help, youngsters’s programming and web entry within the communities the place they function. These organizations want reasonably priced, trendy know-how and constant licensing. And, like most organizations, they’re being requested to do extra with much less.

Identified for his or her bodily places and sometimes hands-on experiences, museums and libraries have been hit arduous in the course of the pandemic period, with much more financial headwinds to return. In accordance with UNESCO, museum revenues dropped 80% from 2019 to 2021. And the American Alliance of Museums states that 56% of US museums needed to lay off employees, and 60% of museums stated working efficiency had fallen 40% or extra in the course of the pandemic. We noticed comparable tendencies when libraries needed to shut their doorways in the course of the pandemic, leading to employees lay-offs and a shift to extra digital providers for his or her patrons.

We imagine know-how may also help.

Aligned to our mission to empower each individual and group on the planet to attain extra, Microsoft supplied over $3.2 billion in know-how reductions and grants to greater than 300,000 nonprofit organizations globally in our fiscal yr 2022. However we are able to do extra, and Microsoft is recommitted to doubling the variety of nonprofits we serve over the subsequent 5 years.

In step with that purpose, Microsoft is happy to develop its nonprofit know-how affords to public libraries and public museums all over the world. Constructing upon our lengthy historical past of supporting nonprofit museums, these newly eligible organizations, together with over 2 million libraries throughout 99 international locations, can additional their mission by permitting know-how to do extra with much less, to increase their attain, improve their engagement and leverage efficiencies of their workflow. Eligible organizations can get reductions for merchandise like Microsoft 365 that features Groups, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint; in addition to Azure, Dynamics 365, Energy Apps and even Floor gadgets. Libraries and museums can even be eligible for our industry-leading grants that embody Microsoft 365, Azure and Dynamics. And to assist all nonprofits attain new guests, donors and volunteers, Microsoft Promoting is providing a $3,000 month-to-month grant on its owned-and-operated digital search and native promoting platforms like Bing.

As well as, we now have options constructed particularly for the nonprofit sector in Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit, together with Fundraising and Engagement, Volunteer Administration, and Volunteer Engagement, with new options launched earlier this month.

Public libraries and public museums can even have entry to on-premises licenses for laptop labs and different public entry gadgets. Grants of Microsoft Workplace Commonplace, Home windows Skilled, Venture Commonplace, Writer, Visio Commonplace and Visible Studio Professional are provided for shared-device eventualities (laptop coaching labs, for instance) and out there solely from TechSoup, a world community of 65 companion organizations that facilitates software program grants for nonprofits, charities and NGOs in 236 international locations and territories.

White says the USS Halfway Museum is searching for a “recent begin,” which is why they’ve lately chosen the Microsoft platform and Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit for his or her donor and volunteer administration wants. With Fundraising and Engagement constructed on Dynamics 365 Gross sales, along with Volunteer Administration and Volunteer Engagement, the group can work off a standard platform as a substitute of a number of options.

“It’s form of a dream for fundraisers and for these of us which are constructing completely different relationships all through the ship to have the ability to know that an individual is a member, a donor, a prospect for a marketing campaign, a volunteer AND an unique board member. Unexpectedly, these dots are all coming collectively!”

White additionally famous that for the reason that museum was already utilizing different Microsoft functions – like Outlook – the employees and volunteers with assorted know-how backgrounds had been in a position to really feel a familiarity between present Microsoft cloud merchandise and new options, offering a way of consolation with the packages with which they work.

With Microsoft Accomplice MISSION CRM, the choice committee at USS Halfway rapidly realized how the know-how may be an extension of their employees. “We will arrange campaigns and enterprise processes, and the know-how is like an extra employees individual. That is actually like having extra arms within the division. And each nonprofit wants that,” says White.

“We need to be America’s dwelling image of freedom. One of the simplest ways to do this is to remain related – use know-how like Microsoft Dynamics 365 to convey our knowledge collectively, permitting us to remain related to all of our constituents.”

Be taught extra about nonprofit affords from Microsoft and get began at the moment: aka.ms/nonprofits

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