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Microsoft NGO Connection Day held

The Metamorphosis Foundation organized the Microsoft NGO Connection day on March 17, 2015. The event was supported by Microsoft, and enabled civil society representatives to learn more about the opportunity to receive software donations from the “Microsoft Technology for Good” program for support of the civil society sector. During the event held at the Hotel Continental in Skopje, there was also a promotion of the Microsoft Office 365 donations for NGOs in Macedonia provided by the Metamorphosis Foundation, through its partner Теchsoup Balkans.

Through the software donation program, Microsoft provides an opportunity for non-profit organizations to receive software donations from Microsoft and their partner TechSoup Global.

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The event was opened by the Microsoft Country Manager for Macedonia, Mr. Stefan Plavjanski and Filip Stojanovski, the program director of the Metamorphosis Foundation.

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“We are aware that non-profit organizations play an extremely important role in every community worldwide. We at Microsoft have always acknowledged the importance of the work of non-profit organizations and believe that we can help by making our latest technology available to them. So, as part of our societal responsibility programs we created the “Technology for good” initiative, in order to contribute to solving the complex societal and community problems. Thus, by providing a powerful technology to non-governmental organizations, we believe that we can boost their productivity and efficiency, so that their services become more accessible for larger communities and individuals who need them. We implemented software donations in more than 125 countries in the world, worth more than 940 million dollars over the last year. In Macedonia, during the last two years we donated more than 800 licenses to NGOs, worth more than 500,000 dollars.” said Stefan Plavjanski.

“Metamorphosis and Microsoft are organizing the NGO Day for the second time, as part of our ongoing efforts to build the capacities of civil society organizations in order to make them more efficient, better and more active in fulfilling their missions. Metamorphosis helps build the capacity of NGOs by disseminating knowledge through training and mentoring, providing access to knowledge through publishing, and by providing access to software, and software donations through the TechSoup Balkans platform. In partnership with Microsoft, Metamorphosis provides an opportunity for NGOs from Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania to obtain legal software in the form of donations. The platform allows for greater independence of NGOs which can also require funds for software support when planning projects, having in mind the low costs that in such cases are minimal and may include payment of administrative costs. As part of the platform, Metamorphosis also provides direct consultations for NGOs during the open days (every other Friday), and at an individual request, so that more organizations in Macedonia have the opportunity to take advantage of the opportunities for donations.” – Filip Stojanovski said.

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After the opening speeches, Vlora Ademi, Business Development Manager – Education, Microsoft spoke on the topic: Introduction and presentation of Microsoft Office 365 and the benefits from the application of cloud technologies in the civil society sector.

“The Office 365 platform is now available for NGOs in Macedonia. Office 365 is a platform for communication and collaboration and is available as a donation for non-profit and non-governmental organizations. The platform offers: an online version of the Office package; storage and file sharing space; e-mail, contacts, shared calendars; an intranet site for team collaboration; unlimited online meetings, instant messaging and HD video conferencing via Lync; corporate social network. This is a significant new investment of Microsoft to help NGOs to focus on the implementation of their community service missions without caring about investing in technology.” said Vlora Ademi.

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Furthermore, Elena Ignatova, program coordinator at the Metamorphosis Foundation, held a presentation on the topic: “Broad perspective based on the experiences about internet promotion, participation in global efforts by Techsoup” and how to protect ourselves and our computer with the Security in a Box toolkit.

Ms. Adrijana Selmani, program assistant at the Metamorphosis Foundation discussed on the topic “The advantages and opportunities offered to NGOs by Microsoft’s partner TechSoup Balkans and the method of registration of NGOs at the TechSoup Balkans platform.

During the second half of the event, a workshop was held at which representatives of non-governmental organizations showed great interest in learning about the TechSoup Balkans platform, and about being a part of the demonstration of Microsoft Office 365, which was followed by questions and discussions. Mr. Dimitar Grozdanov, Senior Technology Advisor at Microsoft spoke during the workshop on the topic “Working in the cloud – Demo of Office 365 and how to implement it”.

The best practices of the NGO – SOS Children’s Village – Macedonia (as an organization that has successfully implemented Office 365) were presented during the last session.

Aggregated posts in the media are available in the special section for the event on Ping.

The discussion about the event on Twitter is available via the #msngoMK hashtag.