The Stevie Awards Blog

How a Stevie Awards Winner's Philanthropy Helps Client Relationships

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 @ 05:25 PM

Salesforce.com Foundation of San Francisco, California, USA received a Stevie® Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year - More Than 2,500 Employees in the company awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards. (The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., are currently accepting entries. Request an entry kit here and submit your entries by the March 28 deadline.) Here we look at what makes Salesforce.com's CSR program stand out.

Salesforce.com's Philanthropic Model
The Salesforce.com Foundation is considered by many to be a global leader in integrating philanthropy and business through its 1/1/1 integrated philanthropy model. This ground-breaking 1/1/1 integrated model—now being replicated by companies around the world—sets aside 1% of salesforce.com’s employee time, 1% of equity, and 1% of product for nonprofits.

The founder of salesforce.com, CEO Marc Benioff, believes that creating a sustainable philanthropic model doesn’t just require monetary commitments, but rather the culmination of all that a company has to offer—most notably an employees’ time and expertise—in order to make a strong impact on each nonprofit that the Foundation serves.

The business awards winner has made tremendous strides since its inception. From a numbers perspective:

  • 250,000 employee hours have been donated to nonprofits. Salesforce.com gives employees six paid days per year to volunteer for organizations of their choice, and organizes team volunteering events to help employees connect with their communities;
  • 11,000 nonprofits are using donated Salesforce licenses to better serve their missions; and
  • More than $23 million in grants have been awarded. Funds are dispersed via several distinct grants, including matching gifts for employee donations, employee-championed projects, and funding for technology projects focused on youth development.

The Positive Impact of Philanthropy

While the business award winning company has grown to over 5,000 employees, it still keeps philanthropy at its core through its best CSR program practices, which creates a positive impact on its entire community. From integrated volunteering opportunities for employees, partners, and customers at its annual user conference of more than 25,000 attendees, to Susanne DiBiancahelping the homeless learn to use salesforce.com to become more employable, there is an altruistic spirit amongst the salesforce.com community, spearheaded by the Foundation’s work to “to do good while doing well.”
   
According to Susanne DiBianca, executive director and co-founder of the Salesforce.com Foundation, 2010 was a marquee year for the salesforce.com Foundation.  As a result of salesforce.com’s business success, the Foundation was able to significantly increase its impact on the nonprofit community as well as be recognized for having the CSR program of the year.

American Red Cross
The 1/1/1 integrated model is what makes the salesforce.com Foundation unique, and nowhere can this be seen more clearly than with the Foundation’s work with the American Red Cross, the U.S.A.'s leading disaster recovery organization. Through salesforce.com’s product, time, and grants, the Foundation is helping the American Red Cross to respond to the magnitude of need created by disasters around the world. 

There are more than 60 American Red Cross Chapters across the U.S.A. using donated and discounted Salesforce licenses to run their organizations, from tracking thousands of volunteers and partners handling tens of thousands of public inquiries in the event of a disaster, to fundraising, and health and safety operations.

A large number of salesforce.com employees dedicate their time and expertise to the American Red Cross as well as raise money through partnering with the organization. For example, the corporate award winner's employees raised $200,000 to help the Japan earthquake and tsunami victims, and raised $250,000 for the Haiti earthquake.  As a result, Marc Benioff received the Humanitarian Award from the Red Cross Bay Area Chapter March 9, 2011.
       
A New Phase
The company award winning foundation has recently embarked on a new phase to achieve not just sustainability, but also growth through its CSR awards winning approach. The company made the strategic decision to adopt a social enterprise model in an effort to scale its 1/1/1 model. The Foundation is essentially set up as a salesforce.com reseller so it can now provide steep discounts to nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations, and higher education institutions beyond the initial 10 free license donations.

Organizations that purchase discounted licenses from the corporate awards winner not only receive affordable technology to efficiently manage data and relationships, but also contribute to the growth and success of all nonprofits using salesforce.com. The revenue from these discounted services goes right back into the Foundation to fund grants, product development, and employee volunteer programs. As a result, everyone is working together to create lasting, worldwide social change.

About Suzanne DiBianca:
Suzanne DiBianca is executive director and co-founder of the Salesforce.com Foundation.  She directs all Foundation activities and serves as the liaison to community, business and government organizations. Previously, DiBianca was a principal at CSC Consulting Group in the Strategic Services Division, where she worked with Fortune 500 companies to improve organizational performance and enhance leadership capabilities. She also served as the program and marketing director for Partners for Democratic Change, a non-profit organization that provides skills for effective conflict management and alternative dispute resolution to NGOs and government officials abroad. DiBianca serves on a number of boards and advisory councils, including the World Affairs Council's Global Philanthropy Forum, the Entrepreneurs Foundation, the Business Advisory Council to SFUSD and Goodwill Industries.

About Salesforce.com:
With 100,000+ customers, salesforce.com is the enterprise cloud computing company that is leading the shift to the social enterprise. Social enterprises leverage social, mobile, and open cloud technologies to put customers at the heart of their business. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia.  For more information call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

Tags: csr awards, best csr, csr program of the year

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