World Refugee Day: Microsoft pledges to raise funds for UNHCR on Facebook

News Stories, 16 June 2009

© UNHCR
Poster for UNHCR/Microsoft collaboration.

GENEVA, June 16 (UNHCR) To mark World Refugee Day, UNHCR partner Microsoft has pledged US$50,000 to the agency's "Gimme Shelter" campaign through Causes, the Facebook platform that allows users to raise money for a non-profit organization or political campaign.

"Up to a maximum of US$50,000, we will donate US$1 for every person who joins UNHCR's Gimme Shelter Facebook cause," said L.Michael Golden, corporate vice president of education at Microsoft Corp. "Microsoft will also match donations raised on the Facebook Causes platform dollar-for-dollar."

The UN refugee agency created a special Gimme Shelter page on Causes late last year. This came soon after the launch of UNHCR's flagship fund-raising and awareness campaign, which is centred on a short film by Ben Affleck, set to the classic Rolling Stones track "Gimme Shelter."

"We are delighted by this new initiative," said Claudia Gisiger-Gonzalez, the officer responsible for public relations at UNHCR. "This will help users double their donation, or effectively make a donation simply by joining the Gimme Shelter cause."

Matthew Mahan, head of non-profit relations for Causes, said it was important to help agencies like UNHCR raise awareness and funds. "By leveraging the Causes' platform, the UNHCR campaign will be able to empower more people to participate in a meaningful way in carrying out the organization's mission," he said, adding: "Causes is thrilled to be a part of the initiative."

UNHCR and Microsoft have been working together since 1999 to apply creative technology solutions in support of efficient refugee protection and assistance programmes, and to provide refugee youth with greater access to education. The partners will be marking World Refugee Day on Saturday.

By Hannah Freya Anderson in Geneva