The tech giant’s charitable arm, Microsoft Philanthropies, is giving CSTA $2 million over the next three years to help the group build out its infrastructure and better serve its members.
Since becoming executive director of the Computer Science Teachers Association last February, Jake Baskin has focused on revamping and expanding the organization to provide more support, new resources, and additional value for its members.
But all of that costs money, and that’s where Microsoft Philanthropies comes in. The charitable arm of tech giant announced earlier this month that it was giving CSTA $2 million over the next three years.
“As a longtime partner of the organization, Microsoft Philanthropies understands the need to support and foster CS educators and build the community of qualified CS teachers,” said Baskin. “They were excited by the new vision and saw how their support and resources could accelerate our transformation.”
Jane Broom, Microsoft’s senior director of philanthropies in Washington state, told EdScoop, the investment will act as “seed money” for the association. “It’s an effort to help them really build out the foundation they need, whether that’s hiring new staff, building a more robust infrastructure in communications or membership databases, bolstering their events,” she said.
The 14-year-old association has previously relied on corporate donations and membership dollars to carry out its mission, but this funding will enable CSTA to invest more in its chapters and create more programs and resources.
“The grant from Microsoft Philanthropies will enable us to accelerate our transformation and begin laying a strong foundation for the creation of new programs and additional member benefits,” Baskin said. “With this grant we will be able to invest more in our chapters and give them the staffing and programming resources they need to empower, engage, and advocate for CS teachers within their communities.”
Baskin explained that computer science teachers are “doing amazing work with limited resources and they need more support.” CSTA is the only curriculum-independent nonprofit that is focused completely on K-12 computer science teachers. This grant will make it easier for these educators to stay on top of the latest research, access the best tools and resources, and improve their computer science content knowledge and teaching practice.
“Ultimately, this investment will allow us to provide more to our members—more support at the national and international level, stronger local chapters, and meaningful connections to communities that sustain and inspire their work,” Baskin said.