Apple, employees raised $50 million for charity over last three years, program to expand globally

“Three years after Apple began matching employee donations, the program has yielded more than $50 million for charity,” Julia Love reports for The San Jose Mercury News. “And on Thursday, Apple will begin expanding the program to all the countries in which it has a presence, up from just the U.S. and a handful of other nations, the company told this newspaper. The Cupertino-based company will also begin donating money to the charities where its employees volunteer at a rate of $25 per hour.”

Love reports, “‘Apple believes deeply in leaving the world better than we found it… We’re inspired by our employees’ generosity and take great pride in supporting the causes they’re passionate about,’ Denise Young Smith, Apple’s vice president of worldwide human resources, said in a statement to this newspaper. ‘Much of that money goes to important causes making a difference right here in the Bay Area. We’re proud to continue expanding our employees’ contributions by matching the time they give around the world.'”

“Apple’s program was limited to just the U.S. when it began, and by the end of 2011 had grown to include the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Ireland. The program will expand to all but a few countries in which Apple operates on Thursday, reaching the rest early next year,” Love reports. “For each employee, Apple matches up to $10,000 per year in donations to nonprofits and charities that carry a 501(c)(3) tax status or the equivalent.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Steve Jobs and family have been donating to charity for more than two decades – May 24, 2013
Apple starts new charitable matching program for employees – September 8, 2011
Steve Jobs, the world’s greatest philanthropist – September 2, 2011
Bono praises Steve Jobs as generous and ‘poetic’ philanthropist – September 2, 2011

10 Comments

  1. Ok, here is the problem. This is the investor’s money. Apple isn’t a privately held company. If Tim Cook or the Apple board wants to match the money out of their own cash, then great! Give the stock holders the cash and let them select where to donate their own money.

    Taking other people’s property without their consent is called stealing not a matching donation.

      1. Ok, can I take some of your money out of your pocket and give it to my favorite nonprofit organization as long as I match the amount I take out of your pocket? If so, you at least are having a say in letting me take your money and redistributing it as I see best done.

        When I get out to the next share holder’s meeting, there are many bigger things to address. This is just something that should not be done with other people’s money. Give out a special dividend and recommend some worthy groups for the shareholders to donate to. They may get even bigger voluntary donations even greater than the amount taken from the shareholders without their consent.

        One shows integrity the other should not be done with other people’s money.

          1. It is shareholder money. It does not belong to corporate management or anyone else. People need to understand the nature of corporations before making inaccurate comments regarding ownership of corporate assets.

            Owners of corporate debt, preferred stock, common stock, etc., have various levels of priority on corporate assets.

          2. The 401K match is a good example of a tool that companies use to attract and retain good employees. Companies jumped on the 401K bandwagon because it enabled them to ditch their old defined pension programs with their associated problems and liabilities. Switching to a 401K system put most of the retirement burden (level of contributions, investment choices, responsibility for ROI) on the employees rather than the company. All the company had to do was select a decent 401K management company.

    1. JT has a valid point that is certainly worthy of discussion. The corporate BoD has a fiduciary duty to its shareholders – the owners of the company. If Apple can show that this charity-matching benefit helps to attract and retain prime talent, then it could attempt to make the case that the benefit is in the best interests of the corporation and its shareholders. But one could also argue that it would be even more effective for Apple to apply these resources differently, such as towards a more direct employee benefit.

      Of course, company/corporate charity has long been part of the American culture. Many companies see it as their duty to the localities in which their employees reside. Others see it as an effective and relatively inexpensive way to boost their public image and their brand awareness – both of which hopefully boost their bottom line. But that opens the door to the larger question of “What is reasonable and acceptable in terms of corporate charity, corporate political lobbying, corporate social activism, etc.?” And how much control do shareholders really have on these types of decisions?

      This also ties into another issue that I raised many years ago. Stock mutual funds control trillions in assets and they vote those shares, not you. The potential for corruption is huge.

      I am a huge and long term AAPL supporter starting with an Apple ][+ back around 1980 (don’t remember, exactly), but when I see any corporation doling out large quantities of cash for various causes, I often wonder if it truly advances the interests of its shareholders. In my opinion, corporate management tends to start playing with the resources and power accumulated by the corporation as if they were royalty. They tend to advance causes that are important to them. They tend to award each other massive stock grants or highly favorable options. They tend to take unreasonable risks without serious consequences for poor decisions. They award each other large compensation packages with massive golden parachutes. They develop, promote, and execute acquisitions, mergers, and sales of company assets that unreasonably enrich and protect them while sacrificing lower level employees and, sometime, the shareholders, as well. They serve on each others’ BoDs and get fat compensation for relatively little work.

      My opinion of Apple management is very favorable, overall. But I do not agree with everything that Apple has done and I believe that it would be wise for shareholders to remain vigilant.

  2. Jersey_Trader, along with a huge proportion of the population, misunderstands “ownership” v stockholder. The legal position is:
     Shareholders do not own the corporation. Rather, they own a type of security commonly called stock. Both corporate law and economic reasoning support the limited nature of this ownership, and also undermine the claim that directors should always strive to maximize shareholder value.

    The Legal Case:
    Although it can be difficult for non-lawyers to wrap their heads around the idea, no human being can own a corporation. This is because corporations are legal persons — independent entities with their own rights, including the right to hold property in the corporate name. In effect, corporations, like humans, own themselves.

    As a legal matter, shareholders who purchase shares of stock in a corporation own nothing more than that—shares of stock, bondholders own only bonds, and executives with employment contracts own their contracts. None of these types of ownership give shareholders, bondholders or executives the right to control the corporation. The right to control the corporation’s assets and actions rests in the hands of its board of directors, and only when they act as a body and follow proper board procedures.

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