Apple donates $500,000 to San Francisco anti-poverty charity

SF Gives (teaser 002)

Apple has joined SF Gives, a local San Francisco anti-poverty initiative, and has donated half a million dollars to the charity, sources revealed to Forbes Monday. SF Gives was set up by the CEO of non-profit Tipping Point, Daniel Lurie, and CEO Marc Benioff.

It was established in March to help fight poverty and fund charitable programs in the Bay Area.

Apple is one of many companies supporting the cause. Other corporate contributors include Google, LinkedIn and Zynga, to name a few…

According to the Forbes story, SF Gives is looking to raise $10 million in total by having some 20 corporations contribute $500,000 each ahead of a self-imposed deadline on Wednesday, May 7.

The funds will be spent toward local charitable programs.

Despite these efforts, the article reminds us of Silicon Valley’s poor track record in philanthropy, despite the huge profits generated.

The arrival of an initiative like SF Gives comes at a precarious time for Silicon Valley. Critics of the thriving tech industry have blamed companies for a meteoric rise in rents and increased evictions.

In recent months, protesters have blocked Google’s employee commuter buses, held a rally at the annual Crunchies tech awards gala, and stood outside the San Francisco home of Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose, distributing flyers and holding signs maligning Rose as a “parasite” and “leech.”

Apple’s previous charity moves include raising $70 million towards HIV/AIDS programs in Africa through Product(RED) items such as iPod nano and shuffle devices, iPhone bumpers and more.

Unlike his predecessor Steve Jobs who for the most part used to avoid corporate charity donations, one of Tim Cook’s first moves since becoming the CEO was establishing a donation matching program for employees.

Apple also donated $8 million to the earthquake victims in China and helped raise funds for the Hurricane Sandy and Philippine Typhoon Relief efforts through iTunes donations, having donated $2.5 million to the American Red Cross in the Hurricane Sandy relief.

And if you have a lot of spare cash burning a hole in your pocket, you could earn yourself a lunch with Tim Cook through CharityBuzz which strives to raise money for the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.