This series of articles features organizations that will be speaking at Sustainable Brands Vancouver. Click here for more.
Picture the dog-eared volunteer sign-up sheets that are posted in the breakroom. Or the email that mentions the Google Doc that includes the link to the charity your manager said might interest you. Or that quarterly payroll deduction, the one that you’re sure is for a good cause, even though you don’t remember which one exactly.
Shouldn’t there be a better way to engage with your company’s CSR initiatives?
Now there is. Meet Salesforce.org Philanthropy Cloud, a new social impact network built by Salesforce.org in partnership with United Way Worldwide.
With Philanthropy Cloud, companies can manage all their philanthropic efforts on one network, easily connecting with employees about CSR initiatives, and then tracking progress, motivating participation, and measuring collective impact.
“Companies like Facebook and Amazon have had tremendous success by offering these three things: access, simplicity, and effectiveness,” said Nasi Jazayeri, executive vice president and general manager of Philanthropy Cloud at Salesforce.org. “Our goal was to bring those same principles to philanthropy.”
Work on Philanthropy Cloud started in August 2017. For years, Salesforce had been hearing from others looking to replicate its “1-1-1” initiative, a pledge to donate 1% of equity, 1% of products, and 1% of employee time to charitable causes.
“85% of Salesforce employees are engaged in giving back ,” Jazayeri explained. “After fielding questions for years, we asked ourselves what we could do to help our customers, partners, and others drive that same kind of engagement.”
The answer centered on technology.
“It took 16 years for Salesforce to get to one million volunteer hours, but it took us 16 months to get the next one million hours,” Jazayeri said. “It’s not just about engagement. It’s about technology. It’s about giving people access, simplicity, and effectiveness.”
Philanthropy Cloud uses Salesforce Einstein artificial intelligence to connect employees with causes and opportunities based on their philanthropic interests, location, and preferences. The most relevant options are presented on a profile page that’s part social networking app, part workplace dashboard.
“You are not an island. You’re a network,” Jazayeri said. “And when you engage your network, your volunteer efforts can have a much greater impact. When you’re not siloed, the effect can be exponential.”
This April, Philanthropy Cloud was piloted across a handful of large corporations. It will be generally available June 29.
For companies, Philanthropy Cloud offers a better way to manage giving, volunteering, and eventually, company grant management, Jazayeri explained.
“They’ll be able to get a 360-degree view across the whole company, which will improve alignment with content, goals, and reporting,” he said.
Plus, corporate brand identities can be added, and since all of the opportunities presented are tagged with specific United Nation’s sustainable development goals, companies will have a new way to build awareness and say, “This is who we are, and this is what we care about,” Jazayeri said.
"Today's CSR isn't just about community impact,” said Jazayeri. “It's also about marketing and HR," he added. "Companies now use CSR to inspire their employees to the next level, build their brands, and help acquire, retain and develop talent."
For today’s socially-conscious employees, Philanthropy Cloud offers access to relevant content and an easy way to keep track of upcoming events, donations, and volunteer time. In the future, Philanthropy Cloud profiles will be portable, so even if an employee leaves their job, they’ll be able to stay connected to the causes they care about.
Attendees at SB'18 Vancouver will have several opportunities to learn more about Philanthropy Cloud. Jazayeri and members of his team will be demonstrating the new platform at booth 1,000 in the activation hub on June 5th and 6th; they’ll also be delivering a keynote in the activation hub at 6:35 p.m. on June 5 and participating in a panel discussion on June 6.
“The theme of Sustainable Brands ’18 is ‘redesigning the good life,’ and that is what Philanthropy Cloud is all about,” Jazayeri concluded. “We’re taking CSR to the next level with a platform that drives awareness, action, and impact. We all know that doing good allows you to do well, to have a good life. Philanthropy Cloud is where all those things come together.”
As a corporate content specialist and a ghostwriter for C-level executives, Kathryn's work appears at Forbes, Industry Week and other leading trade publications and websites. She focuses on topics related to science, business sustainability, supply chain risk management and marketing. Find out more about Kathryn at www.CorporateWriter4Hire.com . You can follow Kathryn on Twitter: @CorpWriter4Hire.