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What Is Philanthropy Cloud?

What Is Philanthropy Cloud?

Philanthropy Cloud is a network that connects companies and their employees to the causes they care about.

The purpose of business is evolving. What was once a vehicle for profit is now a vehicle for change. At Salesforce, we believe the purpose of business is to improve the state of the world. One of the ways we’re doing that is with Philanthropy Cloud, a platform that empowers employees to influence and direct corporate philanthropy. In doing so, we’re also changing the notion that philanthropy is only for the super-wealthy. We want everyone to be a citizen philanthropist, where they can espouse a cause, rally others behind it, and seek change, accountability, and impact.

We describe Philanthropy Cloud as a network that connects companies and their employees to the causes they care about. It is a marketplace of nonprofits, where employees can go to read about the trends and stories impacting their communities, find organizations to engage with, and respond to campaigns that serve a particular cause.

Why Philanthropy Cloud — and why now?

To understand Philanthropy Cloud you should first understand why it exists. New generations of the workforce expect corporations to take a leading role in making their world a better place. Those seeking employment choose where to apply based on a company’s values and purpose. And current employees are taking stock of what their employers stand for and evaluating how much of a difference they’re making in the company and community. Study after study has shown that employees are more likely to stay loyal if they’re happy and engaged at work.

Today’s younger generations are less likely to compartmentalize working, giving, volunteering, shopping, and investing. We see this phenomenon in the form of boycotts and “buycotts” based on a particular political or social stance or philanthropic action a given company has taken. It’s clear that consumers are combining their personal views with their spending. What’s less apparent to many is that the same is happening with employees, investors, partners, and communities as they choose which companies to engage with. Now is the perfect moment for citizen and corporate philanthropy to unite and change the world for the better.

What to expect — personalization for employees as citizen philanthropists

Philanthropy Cloud aims to empower employees to effect change in their communities. We keep employees’ experience at the center of everything we do. When an employee, or “user,” logs into Philanthropy Cloud, they’re greeted by a dashboard that shows their personal giving in monetary amounts and volunteering hours. They can also see their company’s overall contributions. When an employee makes a donation or logs volunteer hours, the impact numbers change immediately, giving them a snapshot of real-time impact.


To find new donation or volunteer opportunities, employees can look to company-featured campaigns or stories. Employees can also search the database of more than 1.4 million nonprofits in the U.S. and Canada or choose a recommended campaign, story, nonprofit, or impact fund. Recommendations are generated by Salesforce’s Einstein, the artificial intelligence layer in Philanthropy Cloud. Personalized recommendations are based on the user’s interactions with the platform and user-defined interests from their personal profile. (Read more about how Einstein works in our blog post on the Values Behind Philanthropy Cloud.)

Once they’ve found a campaign or nonprofit to which they’d like to contribute, they can choose whether to donate money or volunteer time. For donations, they can choose how much to give and how often. For volunteering, they can sign up for a one-time event, choose a shift, select a recurring event, or simply share their interest and schedule their time separately. For the first three options, they can update their work calendars with a single click, and their hours are logged at the event‘s start.

Employees entrusted with the creation and leadership of volunteer opportunities for the company are called Champions. A Champion can be any enthusiastic, trusted participant from any department, but is typically from the internal communications team, HR, Corporate Social Responsibility, or Sustainability department.

Program administrators can also create content, such as stories, giving campaigns, and volunteer opportunities. These admins need to have their finger on the pulse of their companies and employees, which is why they have access to deeper company-wide reporting, which provides critical insight for future event planning. They may learn, for instance, that their employees prefer to volunteer for events that involve children but would prefer to give money for natural disasters. With that information, admins can plan a giving campaign with the local disaster-relief chapter and a volunteer event at a local school to further increase employee engagement.

Philanthropy Cloud breaks ground on all fronts

Philanthropy Cloud is the first-ever comprehensive impact network that provides giving and volunteering in one place, with an engaging and easy-to-use experience. It was created in partnership with United Way to combine the technology and innovation of Salesforce with the service and expertise of the world’s leader in corporate philanthropy. As the product evolves, we see a future in which Philanthropy Cloud offers grants management, matching grants, and portable profiles, a feature that allows employees to take their personal information from one company to the next. We also see a future in which nonprofits can edit their profiles to drive even more organizational engagement. Most important, however, we see a world in which everyday employees find purpose at work through their own citizen philanthropy.

Want to learn more about Philanthropy Cloud? Download our data sheet!

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