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The Season For Corporate Giving

In the aftermath of the South Asian Tsunami, millions of dollars have been donated to assist those victims of that terrible disaster. Many of those donations have been made online. Undoubtedly, business and companies will be major contributors to this worthy cause. While through most of the year we look at corporations as revenue-generating machines, year's end is a good time to look back and reflect on how some of these companies have donated to society.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, here are three high-tech companies that are going above and beyond.

Earlier this week, Arrow Electronics, a supplier of computer products and services, donated $50,000 to a hospital near its Melville, N.Y. headquarters. With fewer than 400 beds, Huntington Hospital is a small facility focused on providing care to the members of its community (interestingly, that includes my own family!). The gift will help to support the hospital's specialty centers for physical therapy and sports medicine, women's health, cancer care and cardiology.

Other companies form their own programs through which they contribute to various causes. Take AMD. A chip company lives in a world of measurements, so when I ran across the "50x15 Initiative," I thought at first it was a new chip design. But in fact, 50x15 is AMD's program aimed at providing affordable Internet access and computing capabilities for 50 percent of the world population by the year 2015. 50x15 is all about empowerment and economic growth. It is designed to enable economic opportunities and reinvestment within high-growth markets — particularly in local manufacturing and distribution. It's founded on the principle that if you show people how to fish, they can feed themselves for a lifetime.

I recognize that there are those among us who might care more for the fish than the people. So, for the animal lovers in Server Pipeline's audience, I include Oracle's work with the Avian Conservation Center. The Center is host to the Bald Eagle Recovery Project. Since 1989, Oracle has supported the Bald Eagle Recovery Project with charitable donations and volunteers. Based on the current budget, Oracle's total cash contributions could fund the entire project for nearly two years -- keeping nests filled, eggs warm and the repopulation effort flying high. (I wonder what those birds think of the PeopleSoft deal. Check out "Acquisitions, Opportunities In An Oracle-PeopleSoft Era" and make your own determinations.)

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