Posted by Andrea L. Taylor
Director, North America Community Affairs

Today we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a leader who transformed the nation with his vision of a world where people are valued not “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” This is the only federal holiday designated by Congress as a national day of service. It’s a great opportunity for people to give back to their communities through volunteerism.

At Microsoft, we’re committed to community service today and year round. Besides donating cash, software and curricula to local communities, the company has always encouraged employees to give their “time, money, and hope.” And their response has never been greater. Our U.S. employees increasingly use Microsoft’s “matching gifts” program, which provides a $1 for $1 corporate match up to a maximum of $12,000 per year, per employee, including $17 match to nonprofits for every hour that employees volunteer.

Last year, our employees in the United States, leveraging  the corporate match, gave their time or money to raise over $85 million. Microsoft employees in the U.S. also performed 335,000 hours of volunteer service.

We also join with others to support campaigns such as A Billion + Change that promote skills-based volunteerism.  As part of this three-year campaign, nearly 900 Microsoft employees recorded over 118,000 “professional service” volunteer hours, which puts us on track to reach our goal to provide 185,000 hours of pro bono support by the end of this year. 

A very humble man, Dr. King once wrote, “Anybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”  This holiday, let’s salute all those who generously volunteer their time to serve others. And let’s renew our own commitment to community service for the common good.  This is the best way to honor Dr. King, as well as to improve the quality of life in our communities.