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Meet Philanthropy Cloud

Learning Objectives

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

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

Welcome to a New Era of Philanthropy

As new generations enter the workforce, they bring new expectations for companies to take a leading role in working to make the world a better place. 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 (CSR) or corporate citizenship means that a company strives to operate in ways that enhance society and the environment. Technology can help enable this transformation with solutions that empower regular individuals to become citizen philanthropists. Philanthropy Cloud is the platform that 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 engaging its employees in 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. With Philanthropy Cloud, employees are empowered to be the change they want to see in the world, with the full support of their company.

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

“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:

  • Salesforce is the first company that took CRM to the cloud, enabling companies to access all of its customer information online, from any device, anywhere in the world. From the beginning, Salesforce committed to giving back through what was called the 1-1-1 philanthropy model, donating 1% of employees’ time, 1% of product, and 1% of equity to the community. From that initial model, was born.
  • is the dedicated social impact team of Salesforce that delivers technology to nonprofits, educational institutions, and philanthropic organizations, so they can connect with others and do more good. As the heart of Salesforce, is committed to helping its customers improve the state of the world.
  • 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.
  • Philanthropy Cloud is a social impact marketplace that connects companies and their employees to causes through giving and volunteering. Employees can choose whether they want to donate their money, time, or both in the same interface.

Finally, Trailhead is Salesforce's online learning platform. You are in Trailhead right now! Trails are guided learning paths that chart your course through Salesforce skills and products. Modules introduce you to specific topics that are broken up into bite-sized units. Trailhead is a fun and easy way to learn Salesforce, and we invite you to dive right in!

Technology for Good

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.

Philanthropy Cloud leverages the most innovative technology available to create a marketplace for giving, volunteering, fundraising, and advocating for any cause at any time. It was created in partnership with United Way to combine the technology and innovation of Salesforce with the expertise of the world’s leader in corporate philanthropy.

So, What Is Philanthropy Cloud Exactly?

Philanthropy Cloud is a cloud-based platform that empowers companies to put their values into action by engaging employees in philanthropic endeavors. It connects employees as donors and volunteers with nonprofit organizations through an easy-to-use interface that rallies them around the causes they’re most passionate about. 

Philanthropy Cloud works with GuideStar by Candid, the world’s largest database of nonprofit organizations. All active 501(c)(3) organizations are automatically included in Philanthropy Cloud through GuideStar, giving employees and companies a robust and verified selection of nonprofits from which to choose to engage. For Canadian nonprofits, data is sourced in a similar way from the Canada Revenue Agency to verify charity registration status. 

Philanthropy Cloud then curates new causes and engagement opportunities for each individual based on their interests and habits and recommends content to users with the help of Einstein, Salesforce’s artificial intelligence layer, which serves up personalized recommendations from the over 1.4 million nonprofits in the system. 

Driving Engagement and Measuring Impact with Philanthropy Cloud

Philanthropy Cloud puts employees in the driver’s seat, allowing them to contribute to whichever campaigns and volunteer opportunities they choose. Employees can easily find or get matched with nonprofits based on cause, skill, location, or activity on the platform. By letting employees lead some of a company’s social impact efforts, the company can actually boost employee morale and improve engagement.

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 as it pertains to certain causes. It can also align a company’s giving to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of universal goals related to environment, health, and social welfare that are becoming the standard for global philanthropic impact measurement. Not familiar with the SDGs? Good news! There’s a trail for that!

Screenshot of an Administrator’s report on giving grouped by SDGs

Giving with Philanthropy Cloud

For employees, Philanthropy Cloud streamlines the process of donating to a nonprofit, making giving back not just easier and faster, but also more fun, engaging, and rewarding. 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 their overall giving. They can even donate with just a couple of clicks when they are on the go via the Philanthropy Cloud mobile app. 

Screenshot of a Homepage

Volunteering with Philanthropy Cloud

Philanthropy Cloud helps employees efficiently find and sign up for volunteer opportunities that are a good fit for them. Users can search through available opportunities or view a list of personalized recommendations based on their skills, causes they’re interested in, location, and engagement history. Philanthropy Cloud also has a champion role, which enables the most trusted and enthusiastic employee volunteers to create and socialize volunteering opportunities and events with their colleagues. Combined with a one-click signup for opportunities, Philanthropy Cloud makes volunteering easier than ever before. 

Screenshot of a Sign Up page

Ready to Leverage Philanthropy Cloud to Change the World?

Philanthropy Cloud is currently available in partnership with United Way. You can get more information by completing the Philanthropy Cloud Access form in the Resources section below. Already have Philanthropy Cloud? We’ll show you how to get started in the next Unit.