“Microsoft is honored to support arts and culture organizations across the U.S. and around the world, which provide so much richness to all of our communities.”
-Lori Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft
Microsoft’s long-standing commitment to support arts and culture includes donations totaling $353 million in cash and software to arts organizations since 1995. Through direct grants, in-kind donations, employee giving, matching programs, and volunteerism, Microsoft contributed $44 million to the arts in 2012 alone. The company received a 2013 BCA 10 award, nominated by ArtsFund.
In Washington State, Microsoft works to strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for current and future citizens—including its 40,000 employees there—by making the arts one of the company’s top four priority areas of investment. The company believes that excellent, diverse, and accessible programming in the visual and performing arts, and high-quality public television and radio programming are essential for vibrant communities.
Giving and volunteerism is an integral part of Microsoft’s culture, thanks in part to an employee giving program that provides a dollar for dollar company match for contributions and a $17 per hour match for volunteer work to eligible organizations. Through this program, U.S. Microsoft employees gave more than $105 million and volunteered more than 480,000 hours in 2012, $7.5 million of which were in volunteer matching funds distributed to U.S. nonprofits.
In 1987, Microsoft began a workplace art collection whose mission was to create an inspiring work environment that fosters creativity and innovation. Today, this collection supports the mission through employee programming and collection stewardship practices designed to reflect and advance Microsoft’s culture, values, and corporate citizenship. Housed in 180 buildings around the world, the collection has expanded to include almost 5,000 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs, ceramics, studio glass, and multimedia works.
Microsoft is helping to increase access to arts education around the world through the company-wide initiative Microsoft YouthSpark, which creates opportunities for hundreds of millions of young people around the world to further their education, including arts education, gain employment, or start a business. In addition, arts and culture is one of the key project themes supported and promoted on Microsoft’s micro-giving portal, Give for Youth, focused solely on supporting youth globally via giving for youth causes.
Photo: Spock, Kirk, and McCoy Beaming-In (In-Between), 2007-2008, by artist Devorah Sperber, acquired by Microsoft in 2009.