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Bill Gates is often looked at & described as the world’s richest person. But how many people would call him the world’s “most generous man”? Probably wouldn’t be your first thought, I mean, we’re talking about Bill Gates here.

Well truth be told, Gates donates more money each year than most people make in their lifetime. He’s given billions of dollars to people & causes, whether that be through his corporate baby Microsoft, or his personal nonprofit, The Bill Gates Foundation. We can’t help but be thankful for such a generous guy being in charge of so much financial power. But what does this mean for nonprofits, right now? Is $1B in “Free Cloud Services” really worth, $1B in value?

Let’s start from the top.

What did Microsoft do?

Bill Gates decided that Microsoft should provide $1B of free cloud services to nonprofits & university researchers that need it. Since Gates is pushing more toward  his philanthropic efforts, the decision came easy. He wants nonprofits to have access to the same tools that allow businesses to grow & scale quickly. Microsoft believes that cloud computing is the wave of the future and wants nonprofits to jump on board while their free cloud offer is available.

Sounds nice, but what are the steps? What’s happening?

This will be a 3-part phase, including:

  1. cloud resources to nonprofits
  2. increasing access for university researchers
  3. helping solve last-mile Internet access challenges


Specific details:

  • Microsoft is donating $1B in cloud services to nonprofits and university researchers
  • Microsoft is not donating products
  • Microsoft is only donating services
  • Microsoft is donating $333M a year for the next 3 years
  • Microsoft gives roughly $750M a year in software already and will continue to do so even after the $1B initiative is in effect


Although $1B in free cloud computing sounds good on paper, it’s not as good as it may seem.  Receiving Microsoft’s free cloud computing services also mean one very important detail— you’re on Microsoft’s free cloud computing services. Their offers are limited and you’re required to use their software and web platforms. Sure some of them are great if you’re a nonprofit on a budget, but if you need to satisfy today’s nonprofit, then a responsive, WordPress -powered #MittunMade website is just for you.

Nonetheless, it’s a very good deed by Microsoft & Bill gates. The question to leave off makes you wonder, would anyone pay $1B for the services in the first place?

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