Silicon Valley Companies Give Generously To Philanthropy

Silicon Valley companies give proportionately more money to philanthropic causes than businesses nationwide, according to a survey released Tuesday by Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The median company in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties donated 1 percent of revenue to charities last year and in the first half of 2007, compared with 0.1 percent for the median nationwide.

The median Silicon Valley company donated 3 percent of pre-tax profit,
compared with 0.9 percent for the median nationwide.

The study noted that many technology companies give away software, which tends to have a high fair market value.

The median Silicon Valley company also donated 900 employee hours - an expensive commitment for the region's highly paid work force.

The study did not cite a corresponding national statistic on employee

Seven out of 10 companies created formal philanthropic guidelines as a result of the Southeast Asian tsunami, hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other disasters in 2005 and 2006, according to the study.

Although local donations are helpful, the region's phenomenal wealth should prompt more generous corporate giving, said Emmett D. Carson, CEO and president of the Mountain View-based foundation.

Silicon Valley is home to software startups and Hewlett-Packard Co., eBay Inc. and Yahoo Inc.

The three largest local companies by market capitalization - Cisco Systems Inc., Google Inc. and Intel Corp. - are valued at $545.2 billion.

"The name 'Silicon Valley' is synonymous with innovation, in business and philanthropy," Carson said.

"If the great minds behind the innovations that have changed the world are unleashed in our own back yard, just imagine the possibilities for our community."

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