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September 26, 2005

Microsoft to Donate for Employee Volunteer Hours

At the company meeting last Friday, Microsoft announced a new component of their charitable matching plan. The company already matches cash and product gifts (up to $12K a year). At the meeting, they announced that for every hour that an employee volunteered at a non-profit, the company would donate $17 to that non-profit.

My first thought was why $17...why not $16 or $18. There's a bit of cold calculation around the number $17--as if Microsoft surveyed non-profit workers with a college degree and no experience and came up with some average--that would be missing if the number was $15 or $20.

But let's put aside snide thoughts like that. This is a GREAT benefit and the most impressive thing is that Microsoft proactively went out and tried to find a way to give more money to the community...I don't know of any groundswell among employees pushing for this, probably because I don't know (in my limited experience) of any other company that does this. I think the company was inspired by all the employee hours donated to Hurricane Katrina relief and wanted to find a way to support that. So this is an unalloyed good and should be heartily applauded by everyone.

Posted by AdamBa at September 26, 2005 08:45 AM

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That is a great benefit. I work for Medtronic, Inc. and they do something very similar. For every 40 hours you volunteer, they make a $500 donation to that charity. It really is a great way to encourage employees to do volunteer work.


Posted by: gnubbs at September 26, 2005 02:25 PM

Very cool on both counts.

Out of curiosity, is that $12k cap per employee, or per NPO?

Posted by: Keith J. Farmer at September 26, 2005 03:41 PM

It is per employee per fiscal year.

Posted by: Phil at September 26, 2005 06:03 PM

I recently joined MS after 7 years at Intel.

Intel has a similar program. Non-profits & local schools too - which is great because almost ALL parents volunteer at their kid's schools, so your employer ends up kicking in to your kid's school. NOt sure if MS's new initiative will cover this. Hope so!

Posted by: kim at September 30, 2005 03:56 PM