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Microsoft grant enables Red Cross to help more

Microsoft Australia has awarded Australian Red Cross its largest ever single technology grant worth $10 million.

Wednesday March 21, 2012

Microsoft Australia has awarded Australian Red Cross its largest ever single technology grant worth $10 million, enabling Red Cross to modernise its IT infrastructure and helping it to increase and improve its support to vulnerable people at home and around the world.

"Our focus is delivering humanitarian programs, not just in times of disaster, but every day to support those who are most vulnerable," says Robert Tickner, Red Cross CEO.

"In the past, our investment in technology infrastructure has been set at minimal levels to keep our humanitarian programs running, which means that we have lagged behind the rest of world. This grant will enable us to update our technology platforms significantly, which in its most basic terms will increase our ability to do what we do best and help more people."

Over the longer term, the grant will assist Red Cross to deliver more effective services to vulnerable people and communities through aiding better engagement with supporters, improved delivery of services, expansion of services (particularly in areas with locational disadvantage) and by facilitating quicker mobilisation of volunteers in time of emergencies and disasters.

"We are delighted that Microsoft has offered Red Cross this major technology grant together with a range of other initiatives and opportunities that will greatly aid our efforts in helping to improve the lives of vulnerable people," says Robert Tickner.

"I also like to think that our partnership is a natural fit, as it is well known that Microsoft Australia has a longstanding commitment to help improve Australian communities through grants and partner support. It is a company whose philosophy is to help make the world a better place and to help people realise their potential. This completely aligns with our own vision and philosophy."

"Red Cross has a special place in our community as one of the core institutions that Australians can turn to in times of need," says Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia.

"In providing this grant, we asked ourselves one key question: 'Imagine what Red Cross could achieve if it had the best technology available?' We set our sights not just on helping to modernise Red Cross's IT systems but rather thinking about how we could enable this great institution to significantly enhance the services they provide to vulnerable Australians.

"I also hope our partnership sends a strong message to the rest of the Australian community sector that they can get involved, too. Microsoft has a community sector program that, in the last three years alone, has provided more than $100 million in software donations."

Red Cross is recognising Microsoft's extraordinary support by assigning it the status of a National Humanity Partner - the highest and most esteemed level of corporate partnership with Red Cross in Australia.

The grant is part of an ongoing relationship between Red Cross and Microsoft that began through Microsoft's Workplace Giving Program. Microsoft's ongoing commitment to Red Cross will extend beyond the grant arrangement, providing Microsoft employees with the chance to engage with Red Cross through hands-on volunteering and fundraising opportunities.

Given the size and scale of the project, the rollout of the Microsoft software is expected to take place during 2012 and 2013.

Note: Microsoft's software donation program is managed by Donortec. Contact details for Donortec can be found by visiting

For media enquiries or to arrange interviews contact Annette Farnsworth at Australian Red Cross on 0459 838 429 or by email, or Georgina Bonner at Howorth on 02 8281 3819 or by email.