Do good faster series: Four ways Salesforce remodelled CSR

Salesforce.com; a world leader in customer relationship management software. The company was founded by Marc Benioff in 1999, who committed to his new business by giving 1% of profits, 1% of equity and 1% of employee time to a myriad of good causes (1:1:1). Today, the 1:1:1 model is one of the most widely adopted corporate philanthropy strategies in the world, and The Salesforce Foundation has been established to help companies to implement it.

Here’s why it works:  

They integrated philanthropy into their corporate culture: every new employee at Salesforce starts their first day working as a volunteer on a community initiative programme, as part of induction. Philanthropy is part of business planning, performance reviews, customer events and team meetings. It’s truly ingrained in the cultural DNA of the business.

They built systems to measure it: Salesforce built apps to track volunteer hours and numbers, by department and manager. They measure the impact of youth outreach programmes, internships and job placements, which means they can draw clear and transparent conclusions about impact and requirements.

They aligned their philanthropy with their expertise: Salesforce employees regularly provide youth mentoring and education on technology. They contribute and donate to tech centres, entrepreneur programmes and causes – all of which are aligned with Salesforce’s overall business mission.

Their recruitment strategy: Mark Benioff describes his attitude to people as this: “the secret to successful hiring; look for people who want to change the world.”


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