Cindy Laquidara is a lawyer based in Jacksonville, Florida. She is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in City, County & Local Government Law.

5 Companies That Champion Philanthropy

Cindy Laquidara's philanthropySince big-name companies get a whole lot of business, they’re able to give a whole lot back to the community. It’s important that corporations use their wide sphere of influence to help the less fortunate, and a few powerhouses are leading the pack. Each of the companies fund a number of diverse initiatives. They also base some of their charitable actions on the actions of their employees, meaning that the philanthropic vibe is shared from top to bottom. Find out how the following five companies are trying to improve the world.

Apple

When Tim Cook became CEO of Apple in 2011, one of his first big moves was creating a company program that matched employee donations– and when I say a big move, I mean big. In just a few years since then, Apple has matched $25 million in employee donations to charities. The company also awards organizations $25 for every hour an Apple employee volunteers there.

More recently, Apple announced an initiative to grow its corporate giving program so that its reach goes far beyond the U.S. The revamped program will include all countries in which the company has a presence.

Google

Speaking of wide geographical reach, Google offices are located in dozens of countries and the company gives gifts to a number of community programs. Notable examples include a robot developing program in Germany, computer donations to schoolchildren in Japan, and gifts to local efforts like Bay Area Giving. Thousands of employees volunteer tens of thousands of hours of service each year.

Google also matches employee donations and sits at about $21 million donated so far, with over 9,000 organizations around the world receiving funding.

Microsoft

To Microsoft, philanthropy is nothing new. Their first employee giving program raised $17,000 for nonprofits in 1983, and since then employees have donated a total over $1 billion. Microsoft will match up to $15,000 in employee donations, and similar to Apple’s model, Microsoft donates $25 to nonprofits for every four hours a Microsoft employee volunteers.

Microsoft doesn’t stick to money alone; they also donate straight-up equipment, like computers and revamped hardware, to charities in hundreds of countries.

Pepsi

PepsiCo supports a ton of community causes. While they’re especially interested in water purification, they also run nutrition programs and skill-based volunteer efforts that focus on things like female empowerment and job placement. They donate strategic grants to the tune of about $25 million a year.

Pepsi matches employee gifts at up to $10,000 annually. If the employee volunteers over 50 hours at the same organization, Pepsi ups the ante and matches at a 2:1 ratio.

Shell

Shell is all about education and sustainability. They’re in the midst of a serious collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin– they’ve donated nearly $25 million dollars to the school overall, and are currently in a 5-year joint plan to fund research in the oil and gas industry. They have helped created over 35,000 jobs with their donations.

Shell matches employee donations that are between $25 and $5,500 as well, but putting aside money for a second, they’ve also saved 6.2 million metric tons of CO2 as of 2014.