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Microsoft in your community

Greater Des Moines community investments

In the Greater Des Moines area, Microsoft investments support community-identified priorities across dozens of partners. Our collaborations dating back to 2021 are organized by our focus areas of  Skills for jobs, Enabling sustainability, and Empowering communities.  

The program list below does not contain every investment but provides a comprehensive list indicative of investments Microsoft makes on an annual basis. 

Skills for jobs 

Microsoft believes everyone should have access to the skills, technology, and opportunity they need to succeed in a changing economy.  

 Hip-Hope utilizes arts and culture to promote, advocate, and support Hope wherever symptoms of hopelessness are prevalent. Hip-Hope defines hopelessness as being unable to function or maintain a desired quality of life due to lack of knowledge, resources, mental health, and/or access to solutions. Its primary focus is on addressing community safety concerns and disparities as they relate to economics, health, incarceration and education among underprivileged / over-challenged youth, ages 5–22, primarily throughout the greater Des Moines area.   

  • gener8tor Skills Accelerator supports learners in obtaining high-quality employment, utilizing arts and culture to promote Hope where symptoms of hopelessness are prevalent.  
  • Lumena Energy Academy is a program for youths which provides training, digital literacy, and workforce development programming that emphasizes executive skills, corporate etiquette, team building, mind mapping, and social networking. All participants earn Microsoft Office certifications, laptops, tablets, and clothing.  

Tech Impact is a nonprofit using technology to advance social impact. During its 20-year partnership with Microsoft Philanthropies, it has delivered a multitude of services to help tens of thousands of nonprofits get on board with the Microsoft Cloud.  

  • Digital Transformation Initiative provides its participants with education and benefits of the Microsoft Cloud for the organizations’ productivity and security goals, and aligns digital transformation to the mission and impact goals of each organization. The education is delivered through in-person workshops or online webinars and followed up by on-demand session recordings. 


St. Vincent de Paul of Des Moines helps those in need become self-sufficient through education, community connectedness, and unconditional support. 

  • Back2Work provides skill-building classes for adults living on a limited or non-existent income in the Des Moines area. Structured classroom learning establishes a positive, supportive environment for program participants to learn basic employability skills. It is intended to increase confidence, resolve problems that have prevented long-term employment in the past, and provide program participants with an introduction to a career pathway in the trades, internship, and career attainment. 


Homes of Oakridge Human Services creates pathways to success for adults, children, and families by providing affordable housing, culturally diverse education programs, and comprehensive employability services. Oakridge is Iowa’s largest Section 8 housing project, and for 53 years has created opportunities for thousands of children and families to succeed and become economically independent.   

  • Digital Workforce Training addresses the lack of digital literacy and how that affects people living in poverty by limiting the access to achieve both social and cultural capital. The skills needed in today’s workforce are those associated with information provided by technology, and it is becoming increasingly more important to have these skills to gain employment and earn an adequate income. This program provides digital skilling fundamentals, job seeking training, and digital navigation.  


Genesis Youth Foundation empowers underserved youth and young adults through sports and the arts while engaging them in educational opportunities to become effective leaders and productive citizens. Its key goals are focused on providing programs that promote positive decision-making, encourage leadership development, and inspire success. 

  • Ubuntu Technology and Financial Literacy Program offers basic computer and financial classes to immigrant and refugee youth and adults, both in-person and virtual. Completing the training provides opportunity for a future upscaled job in IT through the IT Certificate program. Participants also receive laptops and supplies.  


Urban Dreams advocates for all members of the community, breaking down barriers to success and collaborating with key stakeholders to overcome obstacles and uplift underserved and underrepresented people. 

  • Tech Dreams funding goes towards at-risk youth education programming, and buildout of classroom space to better accommodate the education and successful completion of the Deferred Expulsion and Long-term Out-of-School Suspension programs. 


Enabling sustainability 

Climate change requires swift, collective action and technological innovation. We are committed to meeting our own goals while helping communities to do the same. 

Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) advances the science, practice, and policy of ecological restoration to sustain biodiversity, enhance resilience in a changing climate, and re-establish an ecologically healthy relationship between culture and nature. SER’s goals include building the knowledge base needed to implement effective ecological restoration, supporting on-the-ground (and in the water) standards-based ecological restoration implementation, and ensuring ecological restoration delivers beneficial outcomes for both nature and people, including addressing the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.  

  • Boone River Watershed – Oxbow Restoration Phase 2’s goal is to restore an oxbow wetland, capture and filter an estimated 40 acres of runoff, provide 0.5 acres of critical wetland habitat, and create 1 acre of native prairie habitat for wildlife. Downstream communities, such as Des Moines, will benefit from reduced flood risk.  
  • Woodland Restoration at Brown’s Woods County Park emphasizes reducing invasive species and increasing oak recruitment. Brown’s Woods is a 486-acre native woodland preserve located in West Des Moines, Iowa. The preserve is among the most heavily used parcels in the Des Moines metro area; 178,000 Iowans visit the preserve annually for hiking, bird watching, and other forms of passive recreation.  


ChangeX International helps to create thriving communities everywhere by democratizing change, ensuring proven innovations and finance are accessible to everyone, everywhere. ChangeX is a community engagement platform that, with Microsoft’s support, has funded more than 500 groups in communities across Europe and the United States since 2015. Funds are repeated often throughout the years. 

  • The Des Moines Community Fund makes funding, resources, and support available to those who are interested in starting a proven idea across the themes of community environment and community tech skills, with the aim of strengthening their local community. The distribution of funding and impact of these new projects is monitored in real time on the ChangeX platform. 


American Forests creates healthy and resilient forests, from cities to large natural landscapes, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water, and wildlife. It advances its mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. American Forests envisions a world in which the significant environmental, societal, and economic benefits of forests are fully realized and equitably available to all people. 

  • Trees Forever – Growing Futures Program provides a unique workforce development program that employs teens from under-resourced communities to plant and care for trees across Des Moines. Support from American Forests and Microsoft will be used to plant around 112 trees in neighborhoods that are most in need of green canopy cover. 


Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines preserves and improves the quality of life in West Des Moines by engaging others in philanthropic support and service. 

  • Shade Crusade Program supports the City of West Des Moines’ Shade Crusade residential tree program. Trees are made available to anyone with a West Des Moines address who commits to planting their tree on residential property within the city limits.  


Empowering communities 

Microsoft is committed to strengthening communities and empowering the organizations that help them thrive. Whether affected by a recent emergency or decades of challenges, we use data, technology, and strategic investments to restore and support them for future generations. 

 Food Bank of Iowa  provides food for Iowa children, families, and seniors to lead full and active lives, strengthening the communities where they live. Operating since 1982, the FBOI currently collaborates with more than 625 partner agencies across 55 central and southeast Iowa counties which stretch from Missouri to Minnesota. 

  • Feeding Central Iowa expands environmentally sustainable food rescue partnerships to fight hunger.  


Willkie House develops character and self-esteem in young people through the provision of quality evidenced-based programming focusing on academic, social skill building, health, and recreation. It is the ultimate vision of the Willkie House to assist young people in reaching their highest potential. 

  • Arise Youth Leadership Program focused on working with underserved/underrepresented youth that participate in the Willkie House Middle School Program—6UP to develop minority youth exposure, knowledge, and engagement with in-demand jobs. 


Central Iowa Shelter and Services provides low-barrier shelter, meals, and support services at no cost to adults experiencing homelessness and to facilitate their move toward self-sufficiency. 

  • Mulberry Farm helps the homeless regain self-sufficiency, while battling food insecurity in Central Iowa. Microsoft support helped to complete the greenhouse project.  
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