Microsoft’s i’m Initiative, which launched in March 2007, has expanded to include Hotmail. The program donates a portion of the ad revenue generated through Hotmail and Messenger to any of ten worthwhile causes.
I like the basic premise behind the i’m initiative – it’s an opt-in and fairly unintrusive service that just puts an extra i’m-specific advertisement at the end of your emails, or an i’m icon next to your buddy list name. The more email and messages users send, the more money Microsoft donates to the charities of those users’ choices.
Microsoft so far attributes more than 20 million new downloads of Messenger to the campaign, in addition to increased usage of all Windows Live offerings such as Live Search and Hotmail. Since March 2007, the campaign has donated about $1.4 million to charity.