Corporate philanthropy stole the show at Dreamforce 2014, technology giant Salesforce’s annual convention in San Francisco on October 13, 2014, where attendees were greeted by a symbolic 6-foot wall of food cans that set the tone for the conference, as reported by SFGate. Silicon Valley based Salesforce provides Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and is the fastest growing top 10 software company with annual sales of over $5 billion and 30% year-over-year revenue growth.
In a bold and visionary manner, Salesforce launched its annual product bash, Dreamforce 2014, with corporate philanthropy and employee giving as its central theme, not new product development, and asked 135,000 expected attendees (including employees) to donate one can of food or cash to help the company reach its goal of delivering One Million Meals to those most in need. (As of October 22, 2014, the company had exceeded its goal with 1,012,048 food-cans donated.)
In addition to the canned food drive, Salesforce used the conference to inspire and challenge other technology companies to build employee engagement through corporate giving and help address world hunger, early childhood education across the globe, jobs for military veterans in the U.S., and greater corporate giving to charitable causes. In 2014, Dreamforce continued its annual track record of increasing corporate and employee donations year-over-year, with $5 million donated to San Francisco schools in September 2014 in addition to other significant contributions.
Dreamforce organizers also asked senior corporate executives attending the conference to volunteer some of their time to help fill bags with food headed to local food banks, and with calculators and books for early childhood education, to inspire executives to drive business growth through workplace giving to help those less fortunate.
Dreamforce 2014 also hosted 80 sessions dedicated to non-profit and non-governmental causes that were attended by over 7,000 conference participants.
With the Holiday Season around the corner, companies should take inspiration from Dreamforce 2014 and initiate and/or re-focus corporate philanthropy on causes that employees care about, through programs such as Matching Gifts, Giving Campaigns, and Individual or Team Volunteering events that support meaningful causes and foster workplace pride while increasing employee engagement and productivity.
CyberGrants salutes Salesforce for its commitment to corporate philanthropy and for using its clout to influence senior executives at other companies to increase workplace giving… hats off to everyone at Salesforce, you guys rock!