Business Irish

Saturday 17 March 2018

Microsoft employees top donor list at €9m

Microsoft: the most generous firm based in Ireland
Microsoft: the most generous firm based in Ireland
Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

US software giant Microsoft is the most generous firm based in Ireland, giving donations worth more than €9.1m to causes last year.

Bank of Ireland was second on the philanthropy list when cash donations, employee fundraising and in-kind donations were added up, totalling €2.4m.

Pharmaceutical giant MSD raised €1.8m, accountancy giant KPMG gave €1m while Guinness owner Diageo donated over €977,000.

The firms are among almost 50 Irish and international companies which handed over more than €24m – €66,000 a day – to 5,100 charities and community groups last year.

Employees, who raised €3m of the funds, also volunteered 162,000 hours to projects.

The figures were compiled from Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), which examined how firm A&L Goodbody, ESB, Intel Ireland, and their employees supported others.

"In a year that has seen a decline in charitable donations in Ireland, and as times are getting tougher, what we have noticed is that companies are contributing more in the way of in-kind donation, pro bono support and employee volunteering hours," BITCI chief executive Tina Roche said.

"This shows that companies are still keen to have an impact on society and on their local areas but are providing support in different ways and using their own skillset to provide job placements, mentoring, pro bono work, or other products and services free of charge to local groups and charities on a long term basis."

In cash donations alone, MSD topped the chart giving €1.8m to 395 groups, with ESB making second place with half the amount.

However, it was Bank of Ireland's workforce that raised the most, handing over more than half a million euros.

Staff at computer firm Intel topped the chart in volunteer hours, giving up 60,340 hours to help organisations.

Microsoft, which has a workforce of close to 2,000, gave the most in kind donations – €8.8m – which would have included software, old equipment or training. It's cash donation was just €208,000, while staff volunteered 8,000 hours and raised €118,000.

The data was launched as part of BITCI's Business Impact Celebration, hosted by law firm A&L Goodbody at its IFSC headquarters in Dublin.

Business leaders and NGOs discussed how companies are working with groups all over Ireland to ensure key issues such as youth employment, education and homelessness are being addressed.

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