The following post is from Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft.
The past year has been a busy one at Microsoft – and not just because of new products, a new acquisition and a new CEO. It has also been a busy time for our employees and their support of the nonprofit community.
In fact, 2013 was a record-breaking year! Microsoft’s employees raised $113 million for 19,123 nonprofit organizations worldwide. Amidst Microsoft’s transformation, the value of community involvement continues to define us as employees.
The $113 million total includes our employees’ cash donations, the company’s matching contributions, and $7.8 million from Microsoft to match volunteer hours logged by our employees. Our volunteer program provides a Microsoft contribution of $17 for every hour spent by our employees. Last year, more than 7,400 employees participated, logging almost 460,000 volunteer hours to help nonprofit groups. This has been growing – enough so that 2014 may well see Microsoft employees contribute half a million hours of volunteer time to help nonprofits thrive.
In our own backyard, Microsoft employees raised more than $59 million for 4,858 nonprofits in Washington state in 2013. This included support for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Hopelink, Humane Society for Seattle/King County, KUOW, Northwest Harvest, Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, United Way of King County and Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. Over the 30+-year lifetime of the Microsoft Employee Giving Program, total contributions to Washington State-based nonprofits now approach $600 million.
Our Employee Giving Program is now among the largest of its type in the world. Responding to requests from our employees, this past year we increased the company’s matching funds available to each employee from $12,000 to $15,000 annually. And we helped newly hired employees kick off their giving by donating $50 to their nonprofit of choice.
But reflecting on large numbers means little without a glimpse into who is helped by these dollars and hours. Around the world, employee donations benefit global health efforts, disaster response, cancer research, youth empowerment and more through the work of organizations that tackle the world’s biggest challenges, including American National Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, UNICEF and World Vision.
Microsoft employees also found hours in their busy days to lend a hand to families in need, to make hundreds of sandwiches for food banks and to help high school students chart a course for future careers in computer science through our TEALS program. They supported Blind Children’s Learning Center, “I Have a Dream” Foundation, XBOT Robotics and countless other youth serving causes that we prioritize through our global company-wide YouthSpark initiative.
I am proud of our people for their generosity and fundraising creativity. Microsoft employees placed bids in our online auction to win breakfast with sloth bear cubs at the Woodland Park Zoo and the honor of running the scoreboard at an upcoming Mariners game. They braved a dunk tank in October, photographed their pets for our traditional Cats and Dogs of Microsoft calendars, fell in love while compiling the award-winning Microsoft Cookbook and joined their colleagues around the world in a 24-hour Giving relay.
In 2012, we announced that we reached the milestone of $1 billion in Employee Giving since 1983. We’ve been asked when we’ll reach the second billion. It’s clear to me that with three record-breaking, $100 million years in a row, we are well on our way!
Follow the conversation at #MSFTGiving. We welcome you to share your own Giving stories with us.