Microsoft Philanthropies: Grants for STEM Education

OVERVIEW: Microsoft Philanthropies supports science education primarily around the computer sciences but also has an eye on STEM programs and projects.  

IP TAKE: Microsoft’s grantmaking in this field helps educators, trainers, and nonprofits build their computer science capacity. The foundation is rather opaque when it comes to its grantmaking process. The best bet is for grantseekers to get in touch with staff members.

PROFILE: The mission of Microsoft Philanthropies is to “realize the promise and potential of technology for everyone.” Unsurprisingly, a major focus of the foundation’s grantmaking is computer sciences, through its Youth Spark programs.

Youth Spark is a global initiative that helps young people around the world access and learn computer science, with the goals of “empowering them to achieve more for themselves, their families, and their communities,” and closing the computer science gap.

To be clear, Microsoft Philanthropies isn’t dialed into computer science to create more computer scientists software engineers in the world. Rather, the foundation deems this subject matter critical to fundamental computational thinking and problem solving—skills it believes every young person should have.

Microsoft Philanthropies’ public profile is pretty low-key and there is very little information regarding its grantmaking preferences. What is clear, however, is that it does not zero in on computer sciences exclusively: the foundation also supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM programs and projects.

Microsoft Philanthropies offers product donations to help nonprofits scale their work, achieve their missions, and strengthen their impact.


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