October 19, 2012 - 09:49 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Microsoft has announced that its U.S. employees have raised over $1 billion during the almost 30 years of the company’s charitable giving program, The Next Web reports.
Started in 1983, the initiative has brought in donations for more than 31,000 nonprofits and community organizations based in the US.
“I’m incredibly proud of our employees, and this is truly a time to celebrate, not just because we’ve raised a record amount of funds, but also because together with our nonprofit partners, we have impacted and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Chairman Bill Gates pointed out that Microsoft’s employees had “been involved in their communities” since the company’s beginning, adding that the impact “can be felt around the world” three decades later.
Gates himself has devoted himself to philanthropy since stepping away from the company he founded to focus on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In recent years, he has given over $28 billion to causes that are linked to saving more than 5 million lives.
Microsoft’s employee giving program offers to match its workers’ volunteer time (valued at $17 an hour) and charitable contributions for up to $12,000 per year. The campaign has grown from just $17,000 from 200 employees in its first year to a projected $100 million this year from over 35,000 employees. Last year, the company raised $100.5 million through its employees.