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Paul Lambros, executive director of Plymouth Housing Group, was joined onstage by dozens of representatives from other nonprofits, who saluted the company and its employees for their generosity. "On behalf of everyone at Plymouth and all of the organizations you support so generously, I'd like to thank each and every one of you at Microsoft for your dedication to giving back to your communities,"Lambros said. "The $2.5 billion milestone, and the fact that I'm surrounded by dozens of my colleagues, is testimony to the scope and breadth of your giving over the past two decades."
The gifts and volunteerism among Microsoft employees, Raikes said, represent the collective power of how 70,000 people can make a difference in communities around the globe.
"The true impact of this philosophy of giving,"Raikes said, "is everyday support for food banks, homeless shelters, refugee protection and emergency relief efforts, youth programs, teen counseling and domestic violence sanctuaries, cancer research and health clinics, and efforts to provide technology access and training to underserved citizens of the world. This company and its employees are a powerful force for positive change in communities worldwide."
According to Raikes, in 2005 Microsoft employees donated and the company matched $68.2 million in cash and software. In addition, Microsoft directed more than $40 million in cash to nonprofits through Unlimited Potential, a global program designed to help broaden digital inclusion and aid global work-force development by providing technology skills through community technology centers.
This giving from Microsoft and its employees is separate from grants or donations given by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
A Culture of Giving and Volunteering
This philosophy of philanthropy is deeply rooted in the company's culture worldwide. Microsoft encourages employees to get involved in their communities through several programs that make it easy to volunteer time, offering employees in some international Microsoft offices three to five days of paid volunteer leave each fiscal year.
In the United States, Microsoft matches each employee contribution -- up to $12,000 annually; this includes a match for gifts of time as well as money. When employees volunteer their time in the community, Microsoft donates $17 per every hour volunteered to the eligible organizations they serve. This program has been in place for only one year, and already employees have volunteered for more than 110,000 hours.
Although hundreds of organizations across the spectrum of charitable causes receive some level of support from Microsoft employees, some, such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the American Red Cross, have received sizable contributions of time, money and resources over the years.
For nearly 20 years Microsoft has been supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In 2000, the company announced a national partnership with the Boys & Girls Club -- called Club Tech -- and a historic $100 million gift that has helped provide technology access and skills training to more than 4.4 million kids in 3,900 Boys & Girls Clubs across the United States.
"No individual, company or government entity has done more for our kids than Microsoft," said Daniel Johnson, president and CEO of the King County Boys & Girls Clubs. "Not only do Microsoft volunteers tend to be the most driven, passionate and productive among our army of volunteers, but we use Microsoft® tools, human capital and financial resources every day to improve the lives of kids and make the organization stronger."
Microsoft's giving to the American Red Cross was most visible in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. Beyond gifts of financial support, Microsoft employees worked closely with Red Cross staff members and volunteers during the disaster response and beyond. This included engineering teams dispatched to Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C., shortly after Katrina's landfall and development of a next-generation system to connect people separated during disasters.
"The American Red Cross is extremely grateful to Microsoft and its employees for their extraordinary compassion, rapid mobilization and massive response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina," said Steve Cooper, chief information officer for the American Red Cross.
"Your desire to aid a nation in crisis healed wounds across the country -- from uniting families through the development of Katrinasafe.org and dispatching mobile communications vehicles to deploying technology to aid evacuees in your local King County Red Cross chapter."
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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