Many of you probably already know of a company by the name of Salesforce. I first learned about this tech company a little over a year ago through a business class at Western Colorado University. For those of you who don't know what they do however, I will give you a quick overview of their services.
Salesforce is a cloud-based software company that focuses on customer relationship management, or CRM as its often referred. Their online platform gives companies of all sizes a simple way to organize all of their accounts, clients, leads, and in-house teams. It also acts as a seamless system to communicate to all employees throughout the company. Maybe I'm just a nerd when it comes to business related tools, but I think it's pretty cool!
At any rate, their product / service is not why I find them so fascinating.
Marc Benioff, Salesforce's founder and CEO, is an activist for doing good through business. When a new employee begins their first day on the job, they are almost immediately sent off to volunteer at a hospital, homeless shelter, or school. Most business leaders would see this as a hit to their overall productivity. Not Marc. He believes, "the business of business is improving the world."
This mantra isn't something new that Salesforce has been preaching either. When the company was young and still considered a start-up, they invented the 1-1-1 model. This model is a pledge to donate 1% of their product, 1% of the company's equity, and 1% of it's employee's overall time to charity. While 1% may not seem like a lot, when you are a 13 billion dollar business with over 30,000 employees, it adds up.
I'm sure Salesforce isn't perfect, but it sure is making a conscious effort to create a better world for us all. Numerous other companies have embraced these responsibilities as well; companies such as Patagonia, Warby Parker, and JUST Water to name a few.
There are still many more that are not actively pursuing similar initiatives.They are stuck in the old business ideal - which is to simply maximize output, profits, and shareholder return. Surprisingly though, businesses with a philanthropic focus are finding that it doesn't decrease their profitability but rather significantly improves it.
It's good to hear stories like the Salesforce idea for corporate generosity. It helps remind us that business can do its part for improving the environment, communities and employee welfare, while also stimulating the economy.