Friday, October 19, 2012

Microsoft Employees Raise $1 Billion For Nonprofits

Cross-Posted From The NonProfit Times


Microsoft Corporation employees have given $1 billion to nonprofits since the inception of the company’s Employee Giving Campaign in 1983. The software company, co-founded in 1975 by Bill Gates, made the announcement at a town hall event yesterday. Gates is also the head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer announced the news along with Gates and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on the corporation’s campus in Redmond, Wash. The event was held to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Employee Giving Campaign, which has benefited 31,000 organizations nationwide.

To mark the occasion, Microsoft announced that the four nonprofits that received the most money from the program would get a $25,000 grant. Those organizations were World Vision International, Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, the American National Red Cross, and United Way of King County.

“I'm incredibly proud of our employees, and this is truly a time to celebrate, not just because we've raised a record amount of funds, but also because together with our nonprofit partners, we have impacted and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people,” said Balmer.

When the Employee Giving Campaign was first implemented by Microsoft in 1983, 200 employees raised $17,000 for nonprofits. The company now has 35,000 employees, and it predicts that over $100 million will be raised for organizations this year.

“The impact of all that giving is almost incalculable, and the statistics don't even begin to tell the whole story,” said Jon Fine, CEO, United Way of King County.

Gates proudly recapped the employees’ history of giving, saying they have been involved in their communities from the company’s earliest days.

“Thirty years and $1 billion later, that impact can be felt around the world,” Gates said. “The company and its employees have much to be proud of at this remarkable milestone and, I know, will continue to make a positive impact in the years ahead.”

Gates is no stranger to philanthropy as his foundation has worked to support programs that aim to enhance healthcare and end global poverty. He also partnered with Warren Buffet in the Giving Pledge, which urges billionaires to agree to donate half of their wealth to charity. Gates was once again selected to The NonProfit TimesPower and Influence Top 50, which honors the top nonprofit executives in the country.

The Employee Giving Campaign is a year-long effort, with the company matching employee volunteer time at $17 per hour and dollar-for-dollar charitable contributions to all eligible nonprofits up to $12,000 per employee. In addition to the $1 billion raised, employees have also volunteered more than 2 million hours of their time to causes since Microsoft began its volunteer match program in 2005.

The company places a special focus on the month of October both on its Redmond campus and in its offices across the U.S. Employees work together not only to volunteer their time and raise money through direct donations, but they also organize a month-long series of activities. These include a 5K run, an online auction, and an “underground” car show.

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