Contest Details

Microsoft 2011 Technology For Good

Microsoft believes technology can do amazing things.  That's why they partner with thousands of organizations like yours to help each one use technology to achieve its mission. As part of this commitment, Microsoft donates software to eligible nonprofit organizations and public libraries to help them further their missions and create positive impact in their communities.

In 2011, Microsoft asked you to share your story about the impact you've had and how Microsoft technologies have played a part. Thanks to all who told us how Microsoft software has helped you engage your stakeholders and use technology for good in your community!

Who Can Enter the Contest
Submission Guidelines and Impact Questions
How To Enter
Explaining EIN / FSCS / Tax ID numbers
How Entries Will Be Judged
Announcement of Winners
Help and Questions
Full Contest Terms and Conditions

Who Can Enter the Contest

Eligible organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a US registered 501c3 organization, or US public library located or based in the state of Washington
  • Must meet the general eligibility requirements for Microsoft donations.
  • Must have a contact person that is 21 years of age or older as of December 1, 2010.
  • Three unique entries per organization are allowed (in other words, don't submit the same entry three times; this will not increase your chances of winning).

The following organizations are ineligible:

  • Organizations that advocate, support, or practice discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, national origin, disability, race, size, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background.
  • Organizations operating outside of the state of Washington.
  • Organizations whose designated representative is an employee, independent contractor, officer, or director of TechSoup Global, TechSoup and Microsoft, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising promotion and fulfillment agencies, legal advisors, and the immediate family members and persons living in the same household of such persons.
  • All other organizations that fall into the ineligible organization types as defined by Microsoft.

Submission Guidelines

1. Answer Impact Questions

Submit answers to all 5 of the following Impact Questions. Please explain in specific detail how your impact has been achieved. Quantitative metrics are especially helpful, though not required.

Microsoft software must feature prominently, but need not be the only technologies used in your project.

  1. "The Before": What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place? (maximum 800 character limit, including spaces)
  2. What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community? ( Check all that apply) (check boxes.)
    • Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)
    • Microsoft SharePoint
    • Windows Live (online tools like SkyDrive, Office Web Apps, Messenger, MovieMaker, etc.)
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM or CRM Online for Nonprofits
    • Bing Maps
    • Other (Please specify – Windows 7, Communicator, Visio, Project, InfoPath etc.)  
  3. "The After": How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community. (maximum 800 character limit, including spaces)
  4. What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community? (maximum 800 character limit, including spaces)
  5. Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.). (maximum 800 character limit, including spaces)
2. Submit Supporting Work

We encourage you to include any photos, videos, or quotes/testimonials that will illustrate or enrich your answers. You may upload files (images, videos, audio, slides, etc.) or provide links to works that help explain or illustrate the impact you have described in your answers to the impact questions.

  • Option 1: Upload via submission page.
    • There is a 20 MB limit for uploads through this site, so if your work is larger than that, or it is already available for viewing elsewhere online, then see option 2 below.
    • Uploaded files must be one of the following file types: .doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .pdf, .jpg, .gif, .swf, .mov, .wmv, .avi, mp4, or MP3, .pub, .xls, .xlsx, .mdb, .accdb, .one, .onepkg
  • Option 2: Provide a URL link if your work already resides on the Web (e.g., videos, web pages or websites, etc.). All works must be accessible and viewable online through February 28, 2011. A notes field is provided for you in case there are any special directions we need to follow to access your work.


Up to three winning organizations will be awarded the following:

  • A $5,000 cash grant
  • Up to $100,000 in donated Microsoft software
  • Travel expenses to travel to WA State Nonprofit Connection Day at Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington on February 4, 2011
  • Public recognition at the conference above
  • Inclusion in press releases about the contest
  • Feature post on the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Blog
  • Free social media assessment & "stable & secure" assessment from NPower Seattle, to be arranged at a mutually agreeable time (must be scheduled by August 4, 2011)

Awards are made to organizations that satisfy eligibility requirements, and not to any individual.  Prize transfers to individuals or other organizations are not permitted.

How to Enter

The contest submissions period opened December 20 and will close January 18, 2011. Before starting your submission, please ensure you are eligible.

Each organization is allowed to submit up to three unique entries (there is no need to submit the same entry more than once; this will not increase your chances of winning).

Explaining EIN / FSCS / Tax ID Numbers

The following are definitions of your organization's ID number that indicates its registered 501(c)(3) or charitable status:

US 501(c)(3) Organizations, including Public Libraries with 501(c)(3) status:
This is the 9-digit Employer Identification Number (EIN) that the IRS recognizes as exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.
For US Public Libraries without 501c3 status:
Use your library's FSCS ID. You can locate your library's unique FSCS ID on the Web site for the National Center for Education Statistics at First, search for your library. Once you locate your library, you will find your FSCS ID listed at the top right of the screen.

How Entries Will Be Judged

The judging of submissions will be performed by a panel of judges comprised of representatives from Microsoft and TechSoup Global. The final winners will be selected by this panel.

The panel's judging criteria will be based on the demonstrated impact reflected in the submission form plus any supporting work(s).  Answers will be evaluated based on how well they convey the impact and benefit that Microsoft technologies have had on the organization, its mission and/or its constituency.

Decision of the judges is final in all matters relating to this Contest.

Announcement of Winners

The Microsoft 2011 Technology for Good Contest winners have been announced!

If your organization's submission is one of the three selected winners, you will be notified by January 25, 2011. Winning submissions will be announced publicly on February 4th at the Washington State Nonprofit Connection Day at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA and on on or before February 7, 2011. Winners will be considered confidential and are asked NOT to share their winning status until the formal announcement is made at the Nonprofit Connection Day event on February 4, 2011.

Help & Questions

The Show Your Impact team is here to help. If you encounter any problems, please email us at and we'll get right back to you.

Full Contest Terms & Conditions

The full formal Terms & Conditions can be found here.