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Microsoft employees raised $125 million for non-profit charities last year

Seventy percent of the company's employees gave to more than 4,000 non-profits.

Microsoft donated $125 million to charity in 2015
Credit: ©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian

You've probably heard a lot of denigrating of the wealthy lately. Well, when was the last time you got a donation from someone who is broke?

Microsoft announced that their Employee Giving Program raised $125 million for non-profits worldwide in 2015, with 71% of the company's 118,000 employees participating in donating time and money and the company making its own financial donations.

Microsoft has a matching contributions program where it will give 100% of employees' donations, up to $15,000 for each employee. Total donations were up 7% from the previous year. In the Puget Sound region near Seattle alone, where Microsoft is headquartered, more than 42,000 employees gave $62 million to over 4,000 non-profits.

"These results show how, more than ever, Microsoft employees live our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We believe Microsoft Philanthropies rounds out our ability to reach our mission, as well as to reach everyone. In the case of our Employee Giving Program, that means supporting more than 18,000 nonprofits that do invaluable work every day to strengthen communities and better our world," Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and head of philanthropies at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft began its charitable giving in 1983 when it was a much smaller company. In over 30 years since the program started, the company's employees have donated over $1 billion.

In addition to matching contributions, Microsoft donates $25 per hour whenever an employee volunteers for any non-profit. In 2015, employees volunteered 570,000 hours, making for $14.25 million in cash donations. Microsoft employees have donated more than 3 million volunteer hours over the life of the company.

Last year, Microsoft added a new program specifically for technology skills called Tech Talent for Good, which matches talented technologists inside the company with non-profits who need specific technology skills. Microsoft also donated $1 billion in cloud computing resources to 70,000 non-profits worldwide.

The tech sector has been particularly good about charitable work, both time and money. Salesforce was launched with the emphasis on giving back, and CEO Marc Benioff pretty much single-handedly funded the construction of a $100 million children's hospital. Google and Facebook also give generously, and Tim Cook's first act as CEO of Apple was to institute a charitable matching program.

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