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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 19, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Microsoft alum grants to Ashesi, TAF & Room to Read

The Microsoft Alumni Foundation awarded its first “Integral Fellows” awards to three nonprofits started by company alumni.

Each receives a $25,000 grant “as well as access to the talents and skills of alumni to help support their ongoing efforts.”

Winners include Patrick Awuah, founder of Ashesi University in Ghana; Trish Millines Dziko, founder of the Technology Access Foundation in Seattle and John Wood, founder of San Francisco-based Room to Read.

Bill and Melinda Gates recognized them and other nominees during the alumni group’s Founders’ Gala last night.

“It’s really about helping Microsoft alumni maximize and leverage resources. The Foundation provides the framework to bring people, ideas and organizations together to help address our world’s challenges,” Jeff Raikes, chair of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation Board, said in the release. “These three award winners, along with all of our nominees, exemplify what it means to give back. Their work is deeply rooted in service and making a difference in people’s lives.”

Microsoft alumns have started more than 150 nonprofits, generating over $100 million dollars a year in more than 100 countries, the release said.

“The Integral Fellows, and all of the sixty-six nominees, remind us that the Gates Foundation is just one of the hundreds of nonprofits that grew out of the Microsoft experience. We are moved and humbled to be a part of this community,” said Melinda French Gates said in the release.

High-profile judges included former President Jimmy Carter, Ashoka Chief Executive Bill Drayton, Bill Gates Sr., eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Bridgespan Group co-foudner Thomas J. Tierney.

I wonder if all that exposure to Gates Foundation bosses and other notable philanthropists will lead to additional grants for the winning nonprofits.

Comments | Topics: Ashesi, Bill Gates, Billionaire techies

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