Microsoft Employees Celebrate Conclusion of 1998 Annual Giving Campaign

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 28, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. employees tonight will celebrate the spirit of giving that resulted in record-setting contributions during the 15th annual Microsoft Employee Giving Campaign. Addressing Halloween-costumed employees and their families, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates will congratulate employees for raising more than $4.7 million, with three days remaining in the campaign. Total contributions, including Microsoft’s corporate match, are expected to top $10 million, approximately $2 million more than last year’s campaign.

“For 15 years I have had the pleasure of celebrating the success of the annual Giving Campaign,”
Gates said.
“When we started the campaign back in 1983, employees donated a little over $17,000. As the campaign numbers grew each year, our employees’ commitment to building strong communities has remained steady and strong.”

Through the annual Giving Campaign, an activity-filled six-week period, Microsoft encourages employees to donate portions of their paychecks to nonprofit organizations. As in past years, the 1998 Giving Campaign supports a broad spectrum of organizations and institutions that help thousands of people in communities around the nation. The annual Giving Campaign helps support both national and local organizations – from nonprofit health and human services organizations to educational institutions such as schools and universities – that are integral to a strong, functioning community. Most of the funds raised through the campaign are distributed to United Way member organizations in Washington state and beyond.

Joanne R. Harrell, president and CEO of the United Way in King County, Wash., counts Microsoft’s enthusiasm for philanthropy as one of the reasons that King County is the largest United Way on the West Coast and seventh largest in the United States in terms of donations.

“Microsoft is a wonderful corporate citizen that understands the importance of giving to the community,”
Harrell said.
“What’s most exciting is that Microsoft is such a young company and this is just the beginning of their commitment to charity.”

So far the 1998 campaign, which still has three more days to collect contributions, has already surpassed last year’s total of $8.4 million and is well on its way to meeting the company goal of over $10 million. The Giving Campaign, which combines employee donations and an equal company match (Microsoft matches up to $12,000 annually for each of its employees), celebrates its most successful year in 15 years.

“We raised the bar this year and asked our employees to give more than last year,”
said Barbara Dingfield, director of Microsoft Community Affairs.
“I’m immensely proud that they met the challenge enthusiastically and creatively. Millions of dollars will go to charitable organizations – many located right here in the Puget Sound area.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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