Today is my last day working on the CRM product for the next 3 months and I have to admit I’m really excited. I’m not excited because I won’t be working on CRM; I’m excited about what I will be doing. From August 14 to December 1, I will be a loaned executive working for United Way. Each year since 1989, Microsoft has loaned five employees to United Way to support workplace giving campaigns across the Northwest. I applied this year and was chosen as one of the five.
Monday is my first day and I find out more about what I’ll be doing then. Some of things I know I’ll be involved in are fundraising strategies, community education, lots of presentations, special events, executive involvement and daily campaign operations for both the Microsoft Employee Giving Campaign and campaigns for other local companies. I also know that we dress up on Halloween and stand at the various driveways in Microsoft to encourage people to participate in the giving campaign, but I’ll deal with that when the time comes. We’ll be visiting many of the local non-profit organizations to see them in action and learn about the underserved populations in our county. We also work closely with key leaders who are active in solving problems locally.
One of the specific things I know I’ll be working on is the internal online auction for Microsoft employees. This is always a fun event and we get lots of interesting donations, from a tour of BillG’s house to an afternoon of yard work. Some of the funds raised by the auction go to United Way of King County.
But the Microsoft Employee Campaign isn’t just about the Seattle area. Microsoft employees are, by and large, some of the most generous people I’ve known. They support non-profit organizations all over the world. Microsoft also encourages its employees to give by matching their donations to eligible organizations up to an annual limit.
You probably are aware of BillG’s recent announcement about his future plans around moving his focus to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But Microsoft as a company has always invested people in giving back and I feel very honored to be able to devote my energy and efforts to this for the next quarter.