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Charitable matching of up to $10K now available for Apple employees

post #1 of 28
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Apple this week launched a new program for its employees in which the company will match personal charitable contributions of up to $10,000 per year.

The program is currently available to full-time employees of Apple in America, but will expand to other countries in time. It was announced on Thursday in an e-mail sent out to employees by Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, which was obtained by MacRumors

Starting September 15, money donated to a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Apple. Up to $10,000 will be matched every year, should employees choose to take advantage of the program.

"Thank you all for working so hard to make a difference, both here at Apple and in the lives of others," Cook wrote to employees. "I am incredibly proud to be part of this team."

The philanthropy of Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs himself was highlighted last week by Bono, lead singer of the rock group U2. Bono felt compelled to write a letter to The New York Times to respond to an Andrew Ross Sorkin editorial entitled "The Mystery of Steve Jobs's Public Giving," in which Sorkin questioned why there is "no public record" of Jobs donating his money to charity.

Bono highlighted Apple's continuing contributions toward the fight against AIDS in Africa, which the company has supported with special red iPod models since 2006. For each unit sold, Apple donates proceeds to (Product)RED, of which Bono is a founder, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.



The full e-mail sent out to Apple employees by Cook on Thursday is included below:

Team:

I am very happy to announce that we are kicking off a matching gift program for charitable donations. We are all really inspired by the generosity of our co-workers who give back to the community and this program is going to help that individual giving go even farther.

Starting September 15, when you give money to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Apple will match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000 annually. This program will be for full-time employees in the US at first, and we'll expand it to other parts of the world over time.

Thank you all for working so hard to make a difference, both here at Apple and in the lives of others. I am incredibly proud to be part of this team.

If you'd like more information on the program, you can get it on HRWeb, which can be easily accessed through AppleWeb.

Tim
post #2 of 28
You know what would be cool...if Apple created a Charity Store that worked just like the App Store--break down legit charities by category, give a brief synopsis of what they do, how much money they've received, etc...and allow anyone to easily donate via iTunes
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hgtg42 View Post

You know what would be cool...if Apple created a Charity Store that worked just like the App Store--break down legit charities by category, give a brief synopsis of what they do, how much money they've received, etc...and allow anyone to easily donate via iTunes

Would Apple get 30% off the top?
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post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hgtg42 View Post

You know what would be cool...if Apple created a Charity Store that worked just like the App Store--break down legit charities by category, give a brief synopsis of what they do, how much money they've received, etc...and allow anyone to easily donate via iTunes

Too much effort, and people would call shenanigans if apple would collect the usual 30%.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabiopigi View Post

Too much effort, and people would call shenanigans if apple would collect the usual 30%.

Forget about the cost, it would just be a "bag of hurt" from a perception/politics angle. There are too many controversial organizations and Apple would either be tarred by associating with them or lamasted for cherry picking who was allowed in. Nice idea, but let the United Way deal with it.
post #6 of 28
Shareholders will probably cry over this. They were so used to "maximizing" the maximum profit. Any dime goes to charity is a dime less in their pocket.

PS: I support Tim Cook %100 on this. There are more leftovers from Steve Jobs Apple needs to change.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hgtg42 View Post

You know what would be cool...if Apple created a Charity Store that worked just like the App Store--break down legit charities by category, give a brief synopsis of what they do, how much money they've received, etc...and allow anyone to easily donate via iTunes

That would be cool. But Apple hasn't really welcomed charitable apps in the Appstore. That was a big complaint every holiday season for the past three years from some of the higher profile charities. While the 30% cut comment in a preceding post was likely meant as a joke, that's exactly one the complaints lodged.

http://www.socialmediacharity.com/20...y-non-profits/
http://gizmodo.com/5703765/why-does-...le-app-so-hard


Perhaps this new matching policy, a wonderful project for Apple, may signal a change. In any event, this is an admirable move.
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post #8 of 28
1) Nope, no 30% cut
2) Follow Apple's plan-only nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations would be listed
3) Apple has in the past made it easy to donate to the Red Cross for tragedies like the Japan earthquake

But, true, they would deal with a certain amoun of political criticism but then they're used to getting criticised for everything....
post #9 of 28
Geez, 9to5Mac has a different take on this.

http://9to5mac.com/2011/09/08/tim-co...ve/#more-91848
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post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


STarting September 15, money donated to a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Apple. Up to $10,000 will be matched every year, should employees choose to take advantage of the program.

Good program.

I wonder, however, if Apple will refuse to donate to controversial charities, like The Christian Broadcasting Network or Feed the Children.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hgtg42 View Post

You know what would be cool...if Apple created a Charity Store that worked just like the App Store--break down legit charities by category, give a brief synopsis of what they do, how much money they've received, etc...and allow anyone to easily donate via iTunes

Brilliant!

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post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Good program.

I wonder, however, if Apple will refuse to donate to controversial charities, like The Christian Broadcasting Network or Feed the Children.

Here's the email Mr Cook sent out to the employees:

Team:

I am very happy to announce that we are kicking off a matching gift program for charitable donations. We are all really inspired by the generosity of our co-workers who give back to the community and this program is going to help that individual giving go even farther.

Starting September 15, when you give money to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Apple will match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000 annually. This program will be for full-time employees in the US at first, and well expand it to other parts of the world over time.

Thank you all for working so hard to make a difference, both here at Apple and in the lives of others. I am incredibly proud to be part of this team.

If youd like more information on the program, you can get it on HRWeb, which can be easily accessed through AppleWeb.

Tim


My reading of it only seems to require that the charity have 501(c)(3) status, meaning Apple isn't going to be deciding if it's a worthy cause or not.
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post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPepper View Post

Shareholders will probably cry over this. They were so used to "maximizing" the maximum profit. Any dime goes to charity is a dime less in their pocket.


Nope. They get a tax deduction of a dime for every dime that they contribute. Additionally, it is an employee perk, which is intended to help attract and retain quality employees.

As such, the goal of the program is to maximize profits by gaining deductions, PR value and employee satisfaction using pre-tax dollars.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

My reading of it only seems to require that the charity have 501(c)(3) status, meaning Apple isn't going to be deciding if it's a worthy cause or not.

Get ready for headlines about Apple donating to "F"-rated sham charities.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Get ready for headlines about Apple donating to "F"-rated sham charities.

I don't see that happening. It's a very common practice for larger corporations (Google, Microsoft and Motorola are examples) to match employee charitable contributions dollar-for-dollar. I don't ever recall a story criticizing them for any of those contributions.
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post #16 of 28
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Geez, 9to5Mac has a different take on this.

http://9to5mac.com/2011/09/08/tim-co...ve/#more-91848

Wow! Seth Weintraub really took a sour point of view in his article. As one poster said in there, we should not go down the path of questioning every move of Tim Cooks as to whether Jobs would have made the same decision.

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post #17 of 28
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Originally Posted by techno View Post

Wow! Seth Weintraub really took a sour point of view in his article. As one poster said in there, we should not go down the path of questioning every move of Tim Cooks as to whether Jobs would have made the same decision.

Interesting - is Weintruab really sour? Or is he just pointing out that Cook didn't wait long to do something Jobs was known to be against? This is particularly notable since there has been negative press against Jobs for not being open about his charitable work.

Is Cook trying to show Apple's softer side? Or trying to put his personal stamp on as early as possible?

If we get a 4.3" iPhone 5 or 7" iPad 3, we will know the answer.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Nope. They get a tax deduction of a dime for every dime that they contribute. Additionally, it is an employee perk, which is intended to help attract and retain quality employees.

As such, the goal of the program is to maximize profits by gaining deductions, PR value and employee satisfaction using pre-tax dollars.

But what is Apple's marginal tax rate? It's still costing Apple, what, 7-9 cents for every time they donate. And for those who claim Apple is "required by law to maximize profits", your second statement, which I agree with, supports the statement I've made many times (and been blasted for everytime) that any such law would be nearly unenforceable because "maximizing profits" is not a black-and-white financial formula as some would like to believe.

Kudos to Apple for this. From Tim's email, "we are kicking off a matching gift program" makes it sound like Apple had no such program previously? Or was there one with a lower dollar limit? I think every company I've worked for had some sort of matching program for employees donating to charities. I am surprised Apple didn't have one before this.
post #19 of 28
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The philanthropy of Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs himself was highlighted last week by Bono, lead singer of the rock group U2. Bono felt compelled to write a letter to The New York Times to respond to an Andrew Ross Sorkin editorial entitled "The Mystery of Steve Jobs's Public Giving," in which Sorkin questioned why there is "no public record" of Jobs donating his money to charity.

Why should anyone have a public record about philanthropy. That is for the chest pounders looking for approval from others. It is those that give anonymously that get the best reward -- helping people who need help cause they can and want to not because they are looking for some spin from it or great publicity. Too bad more don't give like Steve.

I should qualify that by saying that just because a donation becomes public does not down play its importance. Bill Gates, et ux have done marvelous things (not a Microsoft fan) for humanity and I really think that is the goal. After all, I can think of many ways he could get notoriety without tossing some much money around. (Just think of his protege MonkeyBoy .)
post #20 of 28
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Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Silently giving is true charity

Unless you're a mime, then it's just creepy.
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post #21 of 28
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Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Good program.

I wonder, however, if Apple will refuse to donate to controversial charities, like The Christian Broadcasting Network or Feed the Children.

There are a lot of good charities in the world but more than a few bad ones and frankly I don't even think you had come close to the worst. In any event I'm not sure it is in Apples best interest to have a restrictions free program. Yeah I can hear the noise now about censorship and freedom but once Apple does things publicly everything is then free to be examined by everybody and their brother. That is one of the points behind charitable contributions being a private matter instead of a public one.
post #22 of 28
As you point out there is good reason to keep charity out to the public eye. I have to believe this comes from the same idiots that demand that we tax the rich as they all seem to want to live on somebody else's money. Whatever happened to minding ones own affairs first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Why should anyone have a public record about philanthropy. That is for the chest pounders looking for approval from others. It is those that give anonymously that get the best reward -- helping people who need help cause they can and want to not because they are looking for some spin from it or great publicity. Too bad more don't give like Steve.

The other thing that people seem to forget is that many of the wealthy give after death. Hardly a year doesn't go buy that we don't read of someone passing and find alter that some college or institution benefitted greatly from their wealth.
Quote:
I should qualify that by saying that just because a donation becomes public does not down play its importance. Bill Gates, et ux have done marvelous things (not a Microsoft fan) for humanity and I really think that is the goal. After all, I can think of many ways he could get notoriety without tossing some much money around. (Just think of his protege MonkeyBoy .)

I'm not exactly thrilled by the Gate foundation approach to be honest. Again it is the idea that charity really shouldn't be about public promotion of ones self. While they seem to resist this to some extent I still think they see it as a way to spin public opinion to their way of thinking.

In the end I'd like to see charity made private by law and with the same privacy requirements as we see in the medical field now. Oh and people like Andrew Ross Sorkin need to be severely penalized for sticking their nose into other peoples business. Like in having his nuts roasted over an open fire (peanuts if you will). Why things like Sorkins article even get published is beyond me, it is like the press in America is now owned by the British.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There are a lot of good charities in the world but more than a few bad ones and frankly I don't even think you had come close to the worst. In any event I'm not sure it is in Apples best interest to have a restrictions free program. Yeah I can hear the noise now about censorship and freedom but once Apple does things publicly everything is then free to be examined by everybody and their brother. That is one of the points behind charitable contributions being a private matter instead of a public one.

I'd think there would have to be a list of approved charities otherwise employees could technically create their own charities to get an additional $10k per year, even as silly as that would be to risk your job on.
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post #24 of 28
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Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'd think there would have to be a list of approved charities otherwise employees could technically create their own charities to get an additional $10k per year, even as silly as that would be to risk your job on.

The matching contributions are connected to organizations with 501 tax status. Going by Cook's e-mail Apple isn't going to be paring the list down based on "Apple preferences". That would be a highly unusual stance for a large corporation to take regarding employee-matching. If the charity has 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status that's all that's required. Good luck creating your own and getting the IRS to go along.

http://www.irs.gov/charities/charita...=96099,00.html
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post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Forget about the cost, it would just be a "bag of hurt" from a perception/politics angle. There are too many controversial organizations and Apple would either be tarred by associating with them or lamasted for cherry picking who was allowed in. Nice idea, but let the United Way deal with it.

This I believe is why they don't allow 'charity apps' is the iOS store

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post #26 of 28
This is not controversial. Many large and medium-sized companies do this. It's driven by individual employees' intentions for giving - thus completely democratic - and a charity's eligibility is determined only by their 501c3 status. This ensures the company will not play favorites, at least in this portion of their philanthropy - of which these programs are usually only one of several components.

Corporations are governed by their shareholders, and their agendas are not necessarily limited to maximizing profit, even assuming there was some objective way to measure whether profit was "maximized" in every decision. Corporations typically pursue some variation on the agenda of maximizing return on shareholder investment, but they are also chartered to serve the public trust, however nebulous that sounds, and contribute to the common good (obey laws). You don't hear much about that part of corporate governance these days, but that's just the cultural fashion of our times.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Good program.

I wonder, however, if Apple will refuse to donate to controversial charities, like The Christian Broadcasting Network or Feed the Children.

We will see as soon as some Apple employees start donating to the Westboro Baptist Church.

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post #28 of 28
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Originally Posted by Hgtg42 View Post

if Apple created a Charity Store that worked just like the App Store

And another lawsuit from Lodsys?
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