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Meet Philanthropy Cloud

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain the relationship between Salesforce, Philanthropy Cloud, and corporate social responsibility.
  • List the components that work together to comprise Philanthropy Cloud.
  • Describe how Philanthropy Cloud empowers employees and companies to give back.

Welcome to a New Era of Philanthropy

Today’s employees are socially conscious and more engaged than ever with their local communities and the world at large. They bring new expectations for companies to take a leading role in working to make the world a better place. They value purpose as much as a paycheck. As consumers, they want to spend money with companies who show a commitment to philanthropy; as employees, they want to work for companies where they are empowered to give back and put their values into action. 

By being socially responsible, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental. To engage in corporate social responsibility or corporate citizenship means that a company strives to operate in ways that enhance society and the environment. Technology can help this transformation with solutions that enable regular individuals to become citizen philanthropists. Philanthropy Cloud is a platform that empowers corporate philanthropy. It is a digital marketplace where employees and causes can engage with each other. Philanthropy Cloud enables corporations to propel and measure their overall philanthropic impact while helping employees create meaningful connections in their communities. It extends a company’s reach by connecting its employees to causes they care about, enhancing brand reputation and awareness, attracting and retaining top talent, and delivering a greater impact on the community and the world.

A host of heart balloons around the globe representing a world of engaged citizens

At Salesforce, we maintain that technology is one of the most powerful equalizers of our time, providing access to data, knowledge, and connections. We believe that everyone who wants to change the world should have the tools and technology to do so. With Philanthropy Cloud, employees are empowered to be the change they want to see in the world, with the full support of their company.

“Companies can do more than just make money; they can serve others. The business of business is to improve the state of the world."

-Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce

The Fundamentals

Before we dig into the details of Philanthropy Cloud, let’s define some basic terms:

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of universal goals related to environment, health, and social welfare that are becoming the standard for global philanthropic impact measurement. To learn more about the SDGs, see the Resources list at the end of this unit.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to a set of practices that companies adopt to center a broader set of values on creating positive social impact through their business activities. A company can develop a business model that helps it be socially accountable — to itself, its stakeholders, and the public — and do the right thing while making a profit. To learn more about CSR, see the Resources list at the end of this unit.

  • Salesforce is the first company that took customer relationship management (CRM) to the cloud, enabling companies to access all of their customer information online, from any device, anywhere in the world. From the earliest beginnings as a young company, Salesforce committed to giving back to the community through technology awards, financial grants, and service projects. From that initial commitment, was born.

  • is a social impact center of Salesforce. We equip nonprofit, educational, and philanthropic organizations with purpose-built technology to help them operate effectively, raise funds, and connect with others at scale. Our technology is built for, and with, the community. Our partnerships increase the capacity for social innovation. By combining technology, community, and partnership, we can close the gap between the impact created today, and the potential for impact in the future.

  • Philanthropy Cloud is a platform that helps companies connect employees to the causes they care about most through giving, matching, and volunteering, leveraging their individual passions to change the world.

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So, What Is Philanthropy Cloud Exactly?

The short answer is that Philanthropy Cloud is a cloud-based platform that empowers companies to put their values into action by engaging employees in philanthropic endeavors. Because doing good is good for business.

Philanthropy Cloud connects employees as donors and volunteers to the causes they care about most and leverages their individual passions to change the world. With Philanthropy Cloud, employees can support any cause in any way at any time. 

Philanthropy Cloud includes:

  • Over 1.5 million US and Canadian nonprofits sourced from GuideStar, FrontStream, and the Canada Revenue Agency, some of the largest databases for registered nonprofits.
  • All US and Canadian K-12 public schools for volunteering.

Philanthropy Cloud curates causes and engagement opportunities for each individual based on their interests and habits. 

Ultimately, what’s most exciting about Philanthropy Cloud is the outcome it creates: it turns employees into citizen philanthropists and allows them to engage with their communities however they choose, whether that’s with time and skills or a generous donation. 

Driving Engagement and Measuring Impact with Philanthropy Cloud

Putting employees in the lead of some of a company’s social impact efforts can boost employee morale and improve engagement. To drive engagement, Philanthropy Cloud puts employees in the driver’s seat, allowing them to choose fundraising campaigns and volunteer opportunities to support. Employees can find or get matched with nonprofits based on their selected causes and skills. 

Philanthropy Cloud also facilitates impact measurement. In this new era where stakeholders — employees, customers, shareholders, and communities — demand visibility and accountability regarding a company’s CSR efforts, Philanthropy Cloud provides the ability to measure and report on giving and volunteering as it pertains to causes, organizations, and even the global Sustainable Development Goals. 

An Administrator’s report on giving grouped by SDGs

Giving with Philanthropy Cloud

For employees, Philanthropy Cloud streamlines the process of donating to nonprofit organizations of their choice, as well as to company-specific campaigns. Employees who donate through Philanthropy Cloud can see their personal impact as well as the company’s impact in both dollars donated and hours volunteered. These numbers are updated in real time, providing instant visibility into overall giving. Employees can also donate when they are on the go via the Philanthropy Cloud mobile app. 

The Philanthropy Cloud Home page

Volunteering with Philanthropy Cloud

Volunteering brings employees together and engages them in different ways than day-to-day work does. Philanthropy Cloud helps employees discover and sign up for volunteer opportunities that are a good fit for them. They can search for available in-person and virtual opportunities by cause, type, date, and location. Personalized recommendations are based on their selected volunteering skills and causes that they’re interested in. 

Philanthropy Cloud also has a champion role, which enables trusted and enthusiastic employee volunteers to create and socialize volunteer opportunities and events with their colleagues. And with mobile and desktop signup and the ability to immediately add commitments to their calendars, Philanthropy Cloud puts volunteering at employees’ fingertips. 

A Volunteer Sign Up page

Ready to Leverage Philanthropy Cloud to Change the World? 

Thanks for joining us for this survey of corporate philanthropy and the benefits of Philanthropy Cloud for driving engagement, improving employee morale, measuring impact, and enhancing brand reputation and awareness. We’ll show you how to get started with Philanthropy Cloud in the next unit.   


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