Salesforce Gives $32 Million to “Empower Underrepresented Communities”

The donations will support charities across the globe to drive systemic change

Salesforce Gives $32 Million to “Empower Underrepresented Communities”
Loyalty ManagementLatest News

Published: September 7, 2022

Charlie Mitchell

Salesforce has made $32 million in Q2 donations to charities grafting towards a more equal, fair society.

These funds will enable trusts to grow their innovative work and support more people from underrepresented communities.

An excellent example is the Urban Ed Academy (UEA), which is on a mission to build equality in US education by increasing the number of black mentors in and around schools.

With support from Salesforce, the UEA will increase the scale of its “Man the Bay” initiative to provide more teaching fellows from underrepresented backgrounds with professional development and training.

Another touching cause is The Marcy Lab School, which looks to support young adults from similar communities venture in their efforts to forge a career in technology.

Salesforce’s grant will fuel Marcy Lab’s flagship program, the “Software Engineering Fellowship”. The fellowship opens a pathway for young people of color from disadvantaged backgrounds into entry-level software engineer roles.

A final example is Kura Labs, which builds talent pipelines from low socioeconomic communities, providing job placements and training.

By partnering with Salesforce, the foundation will strive to scale nationally, covering 16 cities and training 10,000 infrastructure computing and DevOps engineers.

Other outstanding causes that much of the $32 million will funnel through to include Phase Be, CodeDoor, and Year Up. Each aims to support equitable access to economic opportunity and support young people across the US and Europe to launch exciting careers.

Yet, do not expect Salesforce’s charitable donations to end there.

The Salesforce Catalyst Fund

Salesforce has donated $575 million in grants to worthy organizations since its inception.

Seemingly the enterprise technology vendor is pushing this further, establishing its Catalyst Fund in June, from which the $32 Million in Q3 came.

At the time Rebecca Ferguson, SVP of Philanthropy at Salesforce, said: “It’s important to assess who our grantees serve and what they do, but it’s equally important that their leaders reflect the communities they are serving.

The Salesforce Catalyst Fund aims to empower underrepresented leaders who are closest to the issues and can guide the best approach for their communities.

Moreover, Salesforce offers each grantee a total of  $100,000 to use at their discretion, removing spending restrictions to prompt trust and flexibility.

As a result, charities do not need to demonstrate to Salesforce how they will spend their grant, avoiding a power dynamic where the funder steers the spending.

Finally, each recipient is less than ten years old and has an operating budget of less than $2 million. And although each grant this round supported organizations with person of color or underrepresented leaders, Salesforce will strive to support other worthy causes in the future.

Indeed, it has already committed to a second round of grants to support 20 further non-profit foundations before the year’s end.

How Else Is Salesforce Giving Back to the Community?

Alongside its Catalyst Fund, Salesforce has set up volunteer programs, which its employees can contribute their time and skills to support.

In Q2, the success of these programs hit new highs, with Salesforce employees reaching a milestone of 7.2 million in all-time volunteered service hours.

This quarter, volunteers contributed to projects such as the Career Spark + Ukraine Refugee Support Program, which offers English lessons to Ukrainian refugees in Amsterdam. The program also helps these refugees to build their CVs, with Salesforce volunteers giving one-to-one assistance.

Other volunteer projects included support for Debate Mate, a London-based student debate competition, and Salesforce Pitch Club, which inspires young people in France to pursue tech careers.

Since its foundation, Salesforce has given over 57,000 free or discounted products and services to non-profit and education clients.

Recent additions to this list include the On Your Feet Foundation (OYFF) and Braven.

Such an exceptional support effort – across an array of charities – shows no sign of stopping and follows on from Salesforce’s 2021 Soar campaign.

Let’s hope its momentum continues, despite rising inflation threatening Salesforce to batten down the hatches. After all, it is great to see the CX company using its revenues to fund the excellent work of many deserving charities and non-profits.




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