I'd highly recommend Doing Good Better : smile.amazon.com/Doing-Good-Better...
In short, we're living in a time where people in some nations are making 100x more than most of the world. So in many ways, the best way to do good isn't to do it directly, but to just Earn to Live and Give.
Especially in the tech world where we often have so few "extra" expenses compared to other high-earning professions (No one expects programmers to dress nice or have nice cars. We don't have clients to impress or wine & dine).
I'll definitely have to take a look at your recommendation! I like the idea of living altruistically - where the individual is contributing their own value (in this case earned wealth) back to the public good. People freely making these choices is the ultimate expression of selflessness and something that should be striven for.
I'm still curious though, as to my original question, if there is a way to build this at the "company" level. For example, is there something beyond a company contributing to open source software in which it can have a direct, tangible impact on improving the world?
That's my point: don't try to directly contribute. Instead, make a sellable product using a traditional business model and donate profits.
Make software that makes money. Money makes a difference.
We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.
We strive for transparency and don't collect excess data.