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Values Behind Philanthropy Cloud

Values Behind Philanthropy Cloud

Want to improve employee fulfillment? Learn how technology can empower employees with giving and volunteering choices.

Trust is a core value at Salesforce, and the key to establishing and maintaining trust is a commitment to transparency. That’s why trust and transparency are at the heart of Philanthropy Cloud, an enterprise platform that transforms the way employees and companies approach philanthropy.

We believe that the business of business is to improve the state of the world, and we’ve built Philanthropy Cloud to enable companies to help their employees connect with and give back to their communities.

Although employees have many reasons for wanting to get involved in and give back to their communities — from caring about a local nonprofit to building relationships within and outside of work — finding ways to do so isn’t always easy. Some employees already know exactly which nonprofits they want to support. Others haven’t put much thought into it and don’t know where to start. Regardless of where someone is on this spectrum, Philanthropy Cloud seeks to make the process of finding the right organization for employees easier, by providing ample choice and AI-based recommendations to help connect them with causes they’ll love.

In the interest of trust and transparency, we’d like to provide clarity on the ways in which Philanthropy Cloud users get from a summary dashboard to making donations. We think of these paths as beneficial features for all stakeholders: Philanthropy Cloud employee users (employees of the company that purchases Philanthropy Cloud), corporate customers, and nonprofit partners. It’s important that stakeholders know and understand the variables and considerations behind Philanthropy Cloud.

Putting employees first: A dashboard of recommended nonprofits

Philanthropy Cloud greets each employee user with a personalized dashboard, which gives them a high-level view of the latest campaign, the most updated impact numbers, and recommendations for engagement.

  1. Employees can search for opportunities to give and for organizations that matter to them. Philanthropy Cloud’s nonprofit catalog includes all active US 501(c)(3) and Canadian charitable organizations.
  2. Companies can highlight or feature nonprofits, stories, impact funds, and campaigns for their employees. This is the only place in the platform where the company exerts any influence over what content employees see.
  3. All employees can view individual and company-wide impact in real time. These statistics include both monetary donations and volunteer hours.
  4. All employees can view personalized recommendations. This content depends primarily on each employee’s actions and self-identified interests.


Philanthropy Cloud interface

Technology with values for social impact recommendations

How does Philanthropy Cloud know what to recommend? We use Einstein, our artificial intelligence layer, to deliver personalized recommendations for every employee user. Einstein takes into account these key variables:

  • Employee user preferences. Philanthropy Cloud allows each employee to specify their preferred causes and volunteering skills.
  • Employee user activity. People who’ve engaged with an organization once are more likely to be interested in future engagement with that same organization. Einstein considers both volunteering and monetary donations for future recommendations.
  • Location. Einstein strives to recommend organizations that are local to the employee. Obviously, “close” is a relative term that differs wildly depending on whether an employee resides in Queens, New York or Jackson, Wyoming. Nevertheless, the employee’s location is a factor for recommendations, and Einstein doesn’t suggest organizations based outside of an employee’s home country.
  • Available nonprofit information. Einstein draws on information from GuideStar (for U.S. nonprofits); organizations that have verified and updated GuideStar profiles with accurate, current information are more likely to be recommended. It will also give a slight recommendation boost to organizations that have more complete GuideStar profiles. Einstein does not base recommendations on the effectiveness or impact of a nonprofit. Philanthropy Cloud offers over 1 million active U.S. 501(c)(3) and Canadian charitable organizations to find and support via search. Our goal is to enable employees to become citizen philanthropists by finding and supporting the organizations they are passionate about.

How Philanthropy Cloud respects privacy

As part of advancing trust and transparency, we ensure that no company — including Salesforce — is allowed to influence recommendations. We also want to stress the importance of privacy. Supporting causes is a personal choice that may be rooted in deeply held beliefs. Hence, Philanthropy Cloud does not collect information regarding race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion. Employee users can optionally provide their gender, age, and interests.

This screenshot shows exactly which personal information employee users can share with the platform.

Philanthropy Cloud Dashboard Personalization

The future of corporate giving and volunteering

Our goal is to have employees engage with their community and generate impact through the comprehensive and intelligent Philanthropy Cloud platform. We face one of the biggest challenges in the social sector: Data about nonprofits and their work is limited and not always suited to driving engagement. We know, for instance, that savvy and well-resourced organizations are able to have a more comprehensive website and social media presence, making them more likely to be found via online searches, compared with more grassroots organizations that have fewer resources for sharing information about their work.

Developing the world’s most intelligent platform for connecting people with the causes they care about takes time and effort, and we recognize that this is the beginning of a long journey. As a mission-driven organization, and Salesforce have disbursed $240M in grants, and employees have contributed 3.5M+ volunteer hours. We are passionate about connecting employees who want to donate time and resources to groups that need them. We partner with nonprofit organizations and other companies to bring Philanthropy Cloud to market, but our number-one priority is enabling employees to be citizen philanthropists via our platform.

This is only the start of an ongoing conversation. How do you think we can use technology to make meaningful connections between citizen philanthropists and the causes they support? Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #SPCValues.

Visit Philanthropy Cloud to learn more.

Nick Bailey

Nick Bailey is Vice President, Innovation and Products at Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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