If successful, Philanthropy Cloud could fundamentally change how philanthropy works

In order to magnify their philanthropic impact, many corporate employees donate through company charity programs. Most of these are straightforward and transactional: There’s generally some web-based portal that allows you to specify the amount you want deducted from your paycheck, and a menu screen where you can pick a place to send it. The bonus is that companies often match these contributions, which can double your impact.

The problem, of course, is that not everyone will donate wisely. They may not know which causes to support, or find the whole process too boring and one-dimensional to continue doing it. (It’s hard to stay excited without actually seeing the impact firsthand.) Now, imagine that the central tenet of that experience were reversed. What if, instead, the platform that you have to go through isn’t a one-way portal, but a social networking app that allows you to learn more about causes, suggests new ways for you to get involved, and shows you different campaigns that are trending within your workplace?

A new app called Philanthropy Cloud, built by Salesforce.org (the nonprofit arm of Salesforce) and distributed by mega-charity the United Way aims to connect employees of big companies to their corporate-matched donations, and offer a platform to encourage more giving, more volunteering, and more connection to the causes being funded. It’s being piloted this month at a handful of major companies, including Anheuser-Busch, and will roll out more widely in June 2018.

Read more about Philanthropy Cloud by Ana Victoria Cruz at Southern California Grantmakers