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Intel's total charitable contributions will total $110 million this year, including $45 million from its foundation, Hawkins said. Like the rest of the technology industry, Intel applies much of its innovative approach to philanthropy for educational efforts, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. When the Intel Foundation formed in 1988, its educational focus was making sure there was a workforce it could hire from, Hawkins said. Today that mission has expanded far beyond the U.S. and higher education in engineering.
"Now it's K-12 and global and focuses on not only an educated workforce for Intel but the entire high-tech ecosystem and an educated populace that can understand and use the technology we make, and can hold down the jobs that will allow people to afford technology and ensure people have the education that will allow them to live lives so all of us can thrive," Hawkins said.
One of Intel's educational programs is Intel Teach, which instructs K-12 teachers how to use technology effectively in their classrooms. Since its inception in 2000, the program has trained more than 13 million teachers around the world.
According to the 2012 Giving in Numbers report, an analysis of 2011 corporate giving by 214 top companies showed that 40 percent of the IT industry's giving goes to education, levels K-12 and higher.
"That's over 10 percent higher than what's typical [across all industries]," said Margaret Coady, director of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), which conducts the survey that feeds the report.
"The tech companies are really thinking holistically about, 'What do we have to give?' " she said. "We want to make cash grants, but we could also provide some training on cutting-edge technologies and not just donate products for the classrooms but teaching teachers how to use them. ... They're equipping classrooms to teach kids to have the skills for the 21st century."
What she likes about the Intel Teach program, Coady said, is that it takes a comprehensive approach. "It's about professional development, curriculum, policies and equipment in the classrooms and saying, 'How can we be more complete partners in the drive to prepare kids for the future?' "
Microsoft also takes a holistic approach to educational philanthropy, Coady said, citing the company's relatively new YouthSpark program. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the software giant is committing the majority of its corporate cash giving to support nonprofits that serve youth by providing them with technology and business training to help them pursue additional education, obtain employment or start a new business or social venture.
YouthSpark aims to bridge the global "opportunity divide" -- the gap between young people who are prospering and those who lack the skills, education and experience to be successful. The program includes a student technology competition and a micro-giving portal, where youths can post projects and donors can provide seed funding.
In addition to the educational focus, the tech industry's philanthropy is often more international than other industries, Intel's Hawkins noted. According to the 2012 Giving in Numbers report, 23 percent of the total giving by the technology companies in the study was international. The energy industry had the highest percentage at 26 percent.