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A short time after Marc Benioff started salesforce.com in 1999, he started getting product donation requests from nonprofit organizations that, despite the name, saw the potential for salesforce.com to help them better achieve their social change missions.

Today, through the salesforce.com foundation, qualified nonprofit organizations can receive 10 free licenses of salesforce.com through our Power of Us (#powerofus) program. And what started as a handful of nonprofits seeking out the product has turned into a robust user community of more than 15,000 nonprofit customers including organizations like the American Red Cross, Teach for America, and Points of Light Foundation to name a few.

Through the Power of Us program, salesforce.com provides deep discounts for nonprofits to attend Dreamforce, and this year we are expecting nearly 2,000 nonprofit customers to attend. If you are a nonprofit interested in attending Dreamforce, check out http://www.salesforcefoundation.org/dreamforce for more information and to request our special discount code.

The Salesforce.com Foundation also provides a special track for the nonprofit sector at Dreamforce including sessions that highlight the work of some of our most innovative customers.

Invisible Children, for instance, will be speaking this year about the development of their LRA Crisis Tracker app - a real-time mapping platform and data collection system created to bring transparency and awareness to the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army in central Africa. In addition to the website, the App is also available on the Apple and Android App Stores.

For a brief intro to the app, watch:


The Nonprofit & Higher Ed Track at #df12 will also feature presentations of the apps created through the Foundation’s annual Force-for-Change (#force4change) grants program. Through the program, we fund the development of technology solutions that will help the nonprofit sector more effectively achieve their missions.

Three organizations funded last year will be leading sessions in the Foundation Theater at #df12:

  • Mobile Data Collection as a Force-for-Change
    The Grameen Foundation has built a mobile survey application for socially responsible organizations that will allow them to more efficiently collect and analyze data from their constituents via mobile devices. Built natively on the Force.com platform, the application is designed to help organizations better analyze community need and respond with more effective programming.
  • Social Service Case Management with Circe
    Family Service Agency of San Francisco (FSA) is the largest outpatient social services provider in San Francisco with over 16,000 clients served annually from five major service sites. Building on the Force.com platform, Family Service Agency developed Circe, a cloud-based, HIPAA compliant, integrated reporting and charting environment. See a live demo of Circe in action and how it might transform your client service.
  • Tracking Constituent Engagement with Groundwire Engage
    The Groundwire Engage app automatically reviews and scores your constituents' recent actions to determine their overall engagement level. Organizations can use this engagement scoring to create tightly focused campaigns and better analyze their engagement efforts with salesforce.com.

If you want to learn more about how salesforce.com is being used to improve communities around the world, please join us for the Nonprofit & Higher Ed track at Dreamforce ’12 or join the Salesforce.com Foundation group in the Dreamforce ORG.

Have an idea for how the Force.com platform can help change the world? We’d love to hear ‘em (comment below).