CINCINATTI, Ohio, April 15, 1999 — The United Way of America has honored Microsoft with its highest national tribute, the Spirit of America award. The prestigious award is presented to a single American business each year that exceeds all others in community involvement. Companies are judged in four categories: Employee Giving Campaign, Volunteer Programs, Corporate Contributions, and Major Gifts.
“This award is a tremendous honor for Microsoft,” said Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates. “United Way has been a part of our company giving from Microsoft’s earliest days. Communities across the United States are better and stronger because of the support they receive from the United Way, and I’m proud that our employees help continue that tradition with generous contributions and volunteer time.”
“Earning the Spirit of America Award is a just tribute to the generosity and compassion demonstrated by Microsoft Corporation and its people,” said United Way of America President Betty Beene.
Building on the company’s tradition of giving, Microsoft employees donated more than $6.5 million during last fall’s two-month-long giving campaign. Combined with matching corporate gifts up to $12,000 per employee, the total amount raised exceeded $12 million. The United Way is a primary beneficiary of all donations raised during the annual giving campaign.
Microsoft also supports employees taking an active role in the community through volunteerism. The Microsoft Volunteer Program (MVP) supports grassroots volunteer efforts made by employees as well as provides information and referral for on-going community volunteerism. Microsoft Program Manager Clyde Rodriguez has been a volunteer and member of the board of directors of First Place, a nonprofit school in Seattle that serves homeless children, for one year.
“The experience of working with First Place has been incredibly rewarding,” said Rodriguez. “I can’t really put into words how special it’s been to work in an organization that serves such a special population.”
Emily Hine, Microsoft Giving Campaign and Volunteer Program Manager sums it up: “I think sometimes, when people think of Microsoft, they think of a big corporation. But in reality, there are thousands of individual employees behind that logo who make a huge impact in all of the communities where we live and work.”
In addition to the Spirit of America award, the United Way also presented Summit awards to six companies in recognition of their contribution in specific categories of United Way support. This year’s Summit award winners were the Chase Manhattan Corporation, Daimler-Chrysler Corporation, Fluor Corporation, Merck & Company, United Technologies Corporation, and Warner-Lambert Company.