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Spotlight on Microsoft: A Leader in Corporate Giving

January 28th, 2013 Posted in In The Spotlight

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Many people know about the philanthropy of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The innovative genius behind the tech giant has given billions of dollars to alleviate poverty worldwide and created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife. Founded in 1994, the organization has taken the lead on a number of initiatives that range from increasing accessibility to internet in the United States to improving health in the developing world.

The Evolution of Microsoft’s Corporate Giving Programs:

Bill Gates’ philanthropic spirit remains engrained in Microsoft despite the fact that he has stepped away from a direct role in the company. Microsoft’s corporate giving program has existed since 1983, when 200 employees raised $17,000 for nonprofits. Today, Microsoft’s workforce has ballooned from 200 to 35,000 employees.

The $17,000 originally raised by Microsoft employees gave way to an employee giving program that has raised over $1 billion dollars in 20 years. Microsoft hosts over 300 events to encourage fundraising from its employees including a 5k race and an online auction.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Employee Giving Programs:

Bil and Melinda Gates Foundation Text

Bill Gates took the success of Microsoft’s corporate giving program with him when he started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Incredibly, Bill and Melinda GatesFoundation will match employee donations at a 3:1 ration on top of the millions the organization already donates.

Any employee who makes a donation to a nonprofit of as little as $25 or as much as $30,000 is eligible to have their donation quadrupled by the foundation.

Matching Gift Programs Across the Tech Industry

Microsoft’s corporate giving program has been highlighted by our blog before.Microsoft’s generous volunteer grant program offers $17 for every hour a Microsoft employee volunteers with a nonprofit.  Since its inception in 2005, Microsoft employees have donation over 2 million hours of their time corresponding to millions of dollars in grants to nonprofits.

Microsoft also has a robust matching program that will match up to a $12,000 donation from an employee to most nonprofits. These amazing benefits don’t just apply for current full time employees. Part-time or retired employees who donate time or money to a nonprofit of their choice can also see a matching donation made by Microsoft on their behalf.


Microsoft is just one example of many corporate giants that are combining smart business with smart philanthropy. Companies everywhere in and outside of the tech industry are willing to match employee donations to nonprofits. For example, here are a few other tech companies which match donations from employees:

Unfortunately, this information can easily be lost in a maze of corporate handbooks and regulations. At Double the Donation, we work with nonprofits to help them maximize fundraising from employee giving programs.

Other Leaders in the Corporate Giving Space

Over the past few months, we’ve highlighted a few other companies with similarly strong corporate giving programs. If you’re interested, explore a few other companies which invest funds into community organizations which employees support:

  • Expedia is continuously enhancing their employee giving programs by allowing employees across the globe to participate.
  • BP enables every American employee to provide a $300 no-strings-attached grant to a nonprofit of his or her choosing.
  • Apple is one of the newest entrants in the employee giving space.

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