Amazon replaces Microsoft as Seattle area's top corporate giver – Puget Sound Business Journal – The Business Journals

Amazon replaces Microsoft as Seattle area's top corporate giver – Puget Sound Business Journal – The Business Journals

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has dethroned Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) as the Seattle area’s top corporate philanthropist, according to Business Journal research.
Amazon told the Business Journal that it gave away $96.9 million in cash in Washington state last year, $23 million more than Microsoft did. Amazon also gave away more than its Redmond-based rival globally last year, donating $366.7 million to Microsoft’s $296.8 million.
Microsoft has topped the Business Journal’s list of corporate philanthropists for years, including in 2020 when it gave away $87.1 million in Washington. In 2021, its local donations declined while its global donations increased. Amazon hasn’t been on the list before because it didn’t disclose the information to the Business Journal.
Amazon said it stepped up its philanthropy in a couple of areas, including housing.
“This is a big priority for us — and will continue to be in the years to come, especially as we continue to grow in Bellevue,” Amazon spokesperson Adam Sedo said in an email. “Last year, Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund donated more than $26 million in grants, on top of our low rate loans (which we don’t count as part of the giving total we provided you).”
Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund was launched in January 2021 and in June committed $300 million to create homes near public transit in the places where the company’s is having the most economic impact: the Puget Sound area; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee. All three areas have corporate offices.
The company has also focused its giving on education and community infrastructure.
Amazon donated $3 million to Seattle University, $10 million to Code.org and $2 million to the Pacific Science Center, all in an effort to “[remove] barriers to education & STEM education,” Sedo said. “This is a combination of long-term projects to increase the number of people with access to STEM education,” referring to science, technology, engineering and math.
Amazon’s giving has focused on both sides of Lake Washington, including for waterfront and trail projects. Seattle’s Waterfront Park project got a $5 million boost, while the King County’s Eastrail project in Bellevue got $7.5 million.
Though Amazon has claimed the philanthropic crown, Microsoft still gave away tens of millions more in 2021 than any other company locally. Boeing Co. was third with $17.8 million in donations in Washington last year.
The Business Journal will publish its full list of top corporate philanthropists in print and online on Friday, May 20.
In addition to its direct giving, Microsoft also encourages employees to be philanthropic by matching their donations and volunteer time through its employee giving program. In 2020, the company said the program has generated $1.7 billion since 1983. Amazon does not have a similar program, but has matched donations for individual causes in the past.
The Puget Sound Business Journal, in partnership with GSBA, invites you to celebrate the 2022 Outstanding Voices and our Largest LGBTQ-owned businesses!
Nominate a business leader under the age of 40 who are making an impact in business, philanthropy, and in their communities. Shine the light on rising business leaders today. Nominee must be 39 years of age or younger through Sept 30, 2022
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