Technology companies like Google, Amazon, Meta, Netflix, and Cisco donate billions of dollars to charitable organizations each year, but they go many steps further and often without any media fanfare.
Big tech donates large sums to various research groups and think tanks. “In 2020, the Brookings Institution reported receiving over $2 million from Microsoft; between $250-500K from Google and Facebook; between $100-250K from Amazon; and between $25-50K from Apple.” (https://www.bigtechfunding.org/btf-blog/how-much) These donations fund research projects with the goal of solving problems that face society at the local, national and global levels.
Coding camps and educational workshops are also a prime target for donations from big tech. Google sponsors various coding camps for all ages, allowing the camp students to attend with up to 90% of the tuition covered by Google. In addition, for people over 18, the organization offers the Summer of Code, “a global, online program focused on bringing new contributors into open source software development. GSoC Contributors work with an open source organization on a 12+ week programming project under the guidance of mentors.” GSoC Contributors receive a stipend for their work during the summer from Google.
Microsoft created Microsoft Philanthropies, a social good initiative that works with nonprofits, governments, and businesses to create “a future where every person has the skills, knowledge, and opportunity to achieve more.” Initiatives cover everything from providing computer education, offering grants to nonprofits, and forming partnerships with organizations worldwide. (Classy.org)
High-Earning Individuals From Big Tech Teams Also Give Back
A well-known example of tech execs donating large sums a Bill and Melinda Gates. In 2021, the couple donated $15 Billion dollars to charities across the world. Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $1.05 Billion during the same year, and Elon Musk donated $5.7 Billion although his recipients were not made public and soon became the focus of much scrutiny.
Individual donations, along with corporate philanthropy, make a huge difference to charities, education, and the arts in our communities, but the contribution of employees at each of the tech giants should not go unnoticed.
Microsoft employees in the U.S. volunteered more than 590,000 hours for nonprofits in 2021 alone (Classy.org). “Many companies match donations of time and money made by employees through the Pledge 1% initiative. Led by Salesforce, this initiative builds corporate philanthropy by asking companies to make annual donations of 1% of product, equity, profit, or time to charitable organizations.” (techrepublic.com)
Big tech companies often feel the brunt of the media’s scorn. As we become a world that is more and more reliant on technology, it should not go unrecognized that technology companies, their leaders, and employees are working hard to improve situations for millions of people worldwide. Do you have a story about a technology company giving back? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment on our LinkedIn page.