Over the last decade and a half, the cloud computing giant Salesforce has rewritten the rulebook for how corporate philanthropy is supposed to work. That includes formalizing a commitment to give at least 1% of its time, product, and equity to charity no matter how well the company may be doing.
Then it formalized a process for others to follow suit in replicating that commitment: The company’s early effort became the basis for Pledge 1%, an advisory program that launched two years ago, which helps others do the same in at least one of those three areas. Pledge 1% has been adopted by well over a thousand companies, including unicorns like Atlassian, Box, Pure Storage, and Twilio.
In August 2016, the company went a step further, appointing Suzanne DiBianca, the former cofounder and president of its philanthropic arm, the Salesforce Foundation, as its first Chief Philanthropy Officer in charge of finding more commercial ways to make the act of doing good just plain good for business. A few months later, Salesforce met a promise it once made to go carbon neutral–33 years ahead of schedule.
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