Despite a year of enviable revenue growth, Red Hat Inc. will not be throwing its customary all-out holiday bash this year. Due to concerns about ostentatious spending during an economic downturn, the Raleigh. N.C. software company decided to host a low-key office gathering instead of the lavish affair originally scheduled at the Raleigh Convention Center. As part of the North Carolina’s high-tech Research Triangle, Raleigh appears to be faring better than many regions but, according to news accounts, the city still has residents who are hurting financially due to the national fiscal turmoil.
Therefore, Red Hat decided to donate the money it would have spent on its annual party to charity. Following the results of an employee poll, Red Hat will send the funds to Chicago, Ill.-based Feeding America, a national organization that funds more than 200 food banks, including several in North Carolina.
Although Red Hat declined to reveal the amount of its donation, the company said the funds were enough to pay for 800,000 meals by Feeding America or 1 million pounds of food and grocery products, a Red Hat spokeswoman said.
In addition, Red Hat offices in Raleigh as well as Westford, Mass., are organizing canned food drives for the hungry; Raleigh executives have pledged a donation for every 500 cans donated at its headquarters office.
“We just felt it was the wrong time to be spending a lot of money on ourselves,” DeLisa Alexander, Red Hat’s senior vice president for people and band, told the Raleigh News & Observer. “I don’t see us going back [to big parties]. People want to work for a company that is socially responsible.”