Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates only makes rare appearances at the company he helped to build these days. Indeed, he's stated more than once that he has no plans to return full time to Microsoft, as he is too busy with his non-profit efforts with the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
This week, Gates returned to the company's Redmond, Washington headquarters for one of those rare visits to join with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in celebrating the company's employees. Specifically, Microsoft said in a press release that Gates and Ballmer revealed at a town hall event that the company and its team members have now raised $1 billion in the past 30 years for about 31,000 nonprofits and community organizations.
Currently, 35,000 of the company's employees, or about 65 percent of Microsoft’s US workforce, participate in its Employee Giving Campaign. Microsoft matches employee donations to non-profits and also matches any employee's volunteer time to those kinds of groups at $17 per hour.
Gates is quoted in the release as saying:
From its earliest days, Microsoft employees have been involved in their communities and have helped contribute to their vitality and growth. Thirty years and $1 billion later, that impact can be felt around the world. 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.
Source: Microsoft press release | Image via Microsoft