salesforce_logo_detailWe know we’re living in a world where the line between philanthropy and business is being blurred. Fortunes–greater than we have ever seen in human history are being made. A lot of it has to do with technology and how we relate and interact with it. One of those companies that many in the business and nonprofit sectors know well is Salesforce.

What Is Salesforce?

Salesforce has the number one CRM product in the world. The platform is cloud-based and the fact of the matter is that many nonprofits have migrated to it. One of the reasons is because Salesforce cuts a lot of the expense of an IT team. It’s about as close as you can get to plug and play.

What Is Salesforce’s Integrated Philanthropy?

The integrated philanthropy model is also called the 1-1-1 model. All it means is that Salesforce takes its business and philanthropy and aligns the focus on technology, people and resources. It’s an exciting model and as the lines blur between for-profit businesses and philanthropy, it’s certainly something corporations should take a look at modeling.

In the words of Salesforce, it defines integrated philanthropy as seeking to: “Leverage Salesforce’s technology, people, and resources to help improve communities around the world.”

Since they were established over 17 years ago, Salesforce has:

  • Contributed more than $115 million in grants. Salesforce focused on providing grant opportunities to STEM programs for underrepresented groups and girls looking to scale their programmatic models.
  • Provided over 1.3 million hours of community service. Salesforce employees are encouraged to actively become a part of their community through community service. The company gives them flexibility for when and where they will contribute community service hours and the cause they will support.
  • Given product donations to more than 28,000 nonprofits and higher education institutions. Through their “Power of Us Program,” Salesforce donates up to 10 subscriptions to nonprofit organizations seeking to use its platform.

In a recent Forbes article, Suzanne DiBianca, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce, said the 1-1-1 model, “…essentially means aligning your community support with your core business and competencies…” And that’s an important part of the equation. In other words, they sought to purposefully align their business interests with that of their community. Any business can do it.

Any Business Can do Integrated Philanthropy

Folks, philanthropy is not difficult. It really isn’t. Sometimes small businesses think there’s a lot to think through and they make it a lot harder than it has to be. Or, they don’t want to give away any part of their profit knowing how hard it is to make a buck. All the while, they’re missing the point that being known as a good corporate citizen in the community is actually going to attract more customers.

Salesforce’s formula is very simple. The 1-1-1 model means they’re giving away–minimum–1 percent of their technology, 1 percent of their people’s resources and 1 percent of their resources.

Asked whether 1 percent is enough, DiBianca said, “It’s a starting point and something that companies of any size can easily adopt and build from.”

Pledge 1%

Salesforce believes it can begin a movement to get businesses of all sizes involved in giving to philanthropic causes. It began “Pledge 1%.”

The aim of this program is to get companies to value and promote corporate philanthropy in support of nonprofits in their local communities. Companies that take the pledge have to give a minimum of 1 percent equity, 1 percent product and 1 percent employee time to philanthropic causes in their communities. The site also provides businesses everything they need, including resources, case studies and best practice to make this a success.

To date, over 850 companies have taken the pledge.

 

Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: How to Dominate Your Fundraising to Create Your Success” (Free Digital Download)

 

© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.