A core tenet of Salesforce’s philanthropy is to get great technology into the hands of nonprofit and education organisations who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it.
As Director of EMEA and then International, I was responsible for creating a robustly governed international Product Donation Program ensuring that any eligible nonprofit or education organisation in over 110 countries could receive, and make good use of, donated Salesforce product.
Nonprofits make amazing use of Salesforce technology to enhance their impact; from fundraising to supporting youth entrepreneurship and managing child welfare, from tackling homelessness to providing sanitation in slums.
In 2008 the Salesforce Foundation moved into a revenue generating model. Beyond donating salesforce technology to nonprofits, we started selling additional licenses at an 80% discount, with all income funding the growth, grants and programs of the Foundation.
From 2010 I implemented this model internationally as a business unit within salesforce.com, using the existing corporate sales, legal, governance and tax structures. We quickly became profitable, growing to $12m revenue at the end of 2014, and winning global nonprofit household names as customers.
We supported many Partners in the Salesforce ecosystem to develop products and service offerings for the Foundation’s customers as a way of creating their own integrated corporate philanthropy.
And one of our goals was to unleash the philanthropist in every employee by empowering them to use their volunteer time to fulfil their passion for whatever issue was important to them; helping kids to read, giving their skills to implement salesforce for a charity, teaching rugby at a school in Africa.
Over the years we ran BizAcademy; a grant-funded collaboration with nonprofits around the world, which engaged hundreds of Salesforce volunteers teaching Salesforce technology and sales to young people as skills for employment.
Conceived in San Francisco, my team and I rolled BizAcademy out across the world, reaching hundreds of young people in the US, UK, Ireland, Japan, India, Australia, Singapore and beyond.
Each young person got a helping hand into an apprenticeship, internship, job or further education through participation in this program. They had mentors and developed relationships with employees that opened doors for them into the next stage of their life.
At Salesforce, volunteering is as varied as the employees, and participation rates are extremely high at 80%. Employees often cite the Foundation among the top reasons that they love working for the company.
Salesforce’s 1% model of integrated philanthropy has lead the way for many other companies to Pledge 1% of their own time, product or profit for social impact.