Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer and former US president Bill Clinton met on Friday to mark the end of the company's charitable giving campaign, which this year raised $72m (£34m), including software, from company and employee donations. That's up from $63m last year.
"You've done a good thing with this giving, because it is inconceivable that we can adequately address these challenges without a strong economy, an effective government, and a more viable civil society," Clinton said at an event with more than 1,000 Microsoft employees in Redmond, Washington, on Friday.
"People have to step into the breach. Benjamin Franklin understood that 40 years before the Declaration of Independence when he organised America's first volunteer fire department. When you gave all this money — over $70m this year — you were the 21st century's great volunteer fire department, and I thank you," Clinton said.