Microsoft announced that their Employee Giving Program raised $125 million for nonprofits worldwide in 2015, a new record for the company. The total includes contributions made directly by Microsoft using the company’s 100% match program of up to $15,000 for each employee. Total donations were up 7% from the previous year.
About 71% of Microsoft’s estimated 118,000 employees participated in the program, donating to over 18,000 nonprofits around the world. In the Puget Sound region near Seattle, where Microsoft is based, more than 42,000 employees gave $62 million to over 4,000 nonprofits.
Charitable giving has been part of Microsoft’s company culture for a long time. “When our giving program began in 1983, approximately 200 Microsoft employees raised $17,000 for nonprofits,” the company said. In over 30 years since the program started, the tech giant’s employees have donated over $1 billion.
In addition to matching contributions, Microsoft donates $25 per hour whenever an employee volunteers for any nonprofit. In 2015 employees volunteered 570,000 hours, bringing the total to over 3 million volunteer hours contributed over the life of the company.
Although Microsoft has had a volunteer donation policy in place for many years for any type of role, last year the company extended the program specifically for technology skills. Tech Talent for Good increases awareness inside the company and seeks to match that talent with the nonprofits who need specific technology skills. Microsoft has found dozens of Seattle-area nonprofits who need tech expertise, then matches the them with employee volunteers.
In addition, last year Microsoft expanded its overall commitment with a new program. Microsoft Philanthropies seeks to focus the company's larger charitable mission around poverty, a lack of education, and accessibility around STEM disciplines and new technologies. Last month Microsoft also announced the donation of $1 billion in cloud computing resources to 70,000 nonprofits worldwide.
Microsoft isn’t alone in the tech industry when it comes to philanthropic commitment. The Salesforce Foundation has shown leadership for years. The company strongly encourages employees to volunteer six days per year at the nonprofit of their choice, while giving away its core CRM product to smaller nonprofits and providing larger organizations with a steep discount. Google provides up to $12,000 per year in matching funds, and Apple began its own employee match program in 2011 soon after Tim Cook became CEO, providing up to $10,000 per year for each employee who donates to nonprofits.