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Announcing The Social Impact Report 2019

By September 23, 2019

By: Brian Komar, VP of Global Impact Engagement, and Eric Barela, Director of Measurement & Evaluation, at

From good to great. From great to even greater. For those of us trying to make the world a better place, it is our calling to help create the most meaningful, measurable, sustainable change possible for individuals and communities around the world. Most importantly how do those individuals and communities change because of the work we do?

We are excited to release the Social Impact Report 2019. This report celebrates the strides that our technology trailblazers, our grantees, and our citizen philanthropists are making to advance social impact. The report also represents a commitment to our stakeholders – a stakeholder contract if you will, to have theories of change guide our work, to rigorously collect data and evidence, to engage our stakeholders in our findings, and to use what we learn to do even better.

Enabling The Most Change Possible

While is now part of Salesforce, our path to impact remains at the heart of who we are. We believe the business of business is to improve the state of the world. We’ve evolved a lot since we were founded in 1999, and we’re excited to share more about:

  • How we think about our outcomes and results
  • New ways we are measuring our impact and how we are deepening our impact alignment to the SDGs
  • What this means for nonprofits and educational institutions, as well as corporate social responsibility and corporate purpose professionals

Social Impact at

At Salesforce, what gets measured gets done. As the dedicated social impact team at Salesforce, uses data and evidence whenever and wherever possible. We focus on outcomes to the maximum extent possible – evidence that we are delivering meaningful, measurable, and sustainable change – across our primary portfolios: Technology for Social Change, Investment in a Future Ready Workforce, and Community of Citizen Philanthropists.

Highlights from the 2019 Social Impact Report

Technology for Social Change

We want organizations like yours to do a better job with the resources they have, better implement your goals, and nurture deep connections to peer organizations and the communities you serve. To that end, the Technology for Social Change outcomes mentioned in the report focus on effectiveness, efficiency, community collaboration and innovation. We want to learn how the more than $1B in donated technology we provide each year contributes to positive changes across our global community.

We have learned that 85% of customers report they are, in fact, becoming more effective at achieving their missions. We’re also seeing our customers connecting to peer organizations through the Power of Us Hub. In fact, our customers reported an average 36% improvement in their collaboration due to their organization’s use of Salesforce.

We also started and strengthened important collaborations and partnerships like Impacting Responsibly and #ImpactCloud.

Students at Presidio Middle School at part of a carnival celebrating Salesforce reinvesting in public education.
Students at Presidio Middle School at part of a carnival celebrating Salesforce reinvesting in public education.

Investment in a Future Ready Workforce

Our strategic grantmaking investments are focused towards building a Future Ready workforce. We aim to create and support an inclusive and diverse workforce prepared with the skills to thrive in the 21st century. Last year, we invested $33.6M in the communities where we live and work with the goal of preparing every student and worker with education and career opportunities and empowering individuals to reach their full potential. This represents 45% growth over the previous year’s strategic grant budget.

Preparing students to be Future Ready means that they’re properly prepared for whatever the future holds. We want schools with more effective educators supporting students with increased academic interest and performance, which will ultimately lead to increased college persistence. In the Oakland Unified School District, we have seen over 3,200 students taking computer science classes between 2016-17 and 2018-19, with representative numbers of girls and students of color enrolled. In the San Francisco Unified School District, over 50% of middle school students are now proficient in math.

To support a Future Ready workforce by advancing career opportunities, supports workforce development programs. We want to see increased job/post-secondary education placement, increased job retention, and higher wages. Last year, our grantees aimed to train over 5,000 young adults with in-demand skills so they are prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Empowering individuals to reach their full potential requires support beyond the classroom. Youth have much more difficulty thriving if they don’t have stable housing. Last year, organizations we supported placed over 1,200 individuals into stable housing.

Students learn how to 3D print at an event with Salesforce volunteers.

A Community of Citizen Philanthropists does not just distribute large strategic investment grants for Future Ready leaders: we match up to $5,000 per employee per year to support causes that our employees care about. This empowers employees to become citizen philanthropists. (Learn more about our Ohana culture in this Trailhead trail.)

We also have a pro bono volunteer program where employees harness their professional skills for good and strengthen the communities they care about. We know that both employees and the organizations they support benefit from giving back. In this year’s report, we measure patterns of citizen philanthropy, employee satisfaction and retention, and organizational improvement.

Salesforce employees volunteer and donate at very high rates. Last year, 88% of employees volunteered, with the average employee contributing 29 hours of volunteer work.

We also have a sizable percentage of employees engage in pro bono activities, using their professional skills to help nonprofit organizations in a variety of ways. Last year, 17% of employees engaged in pro bono activities and a whopping 94% of them reported being happier at work!

Posters with sticky notes saying “What brings us together?” and “What inspires you to speak up?” from Dreamforce
Posters with sticky notes saying “What brings us together?” and “What inspires you to speak up?” from Dreamforce

How Measures and Reports on Social Impact

Results matter. To accurately report on our social impact, we focus on outcomes. We also know that not everything that matters can be measured: stories are important, too. You’ll see both hard numbers and stories of impact in the 2019 report. All data in the report was compiled in 2018 and 2019.

The data in this report draws from a variety of different sources including the 2019 Voice of the Customer Survey, customer interviews, 2018 Employee Satisfaction Survey, internal data on staff giving, and 2018 grantee reports.

We are excited to report that our community generated nearly $1.15B in social sector value during FY19 alone. This year, we’ve strengthened our data collection across all our portfolios. We’ve also deepened our alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

NOTE: The Social Impact Report addresses impact associated with activities. If you’re interested in the Salesforce Stakeholder Impact Report, you can find it here.

List of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, launched at the United Nations in 2015 and the SDGs

Last year, we reported that integrates the SDGs into our social impact reporting framework. This includes mapping our technology, investment and employee volunteering and donation matching to the SDGs.

As the dedicated social impact team at Salesforce, we’re developing even more powerful ways to share our impact through the SDGs this year. We’re excited to share that news soon.

Salesforce volunteers after a hands-on activity.
Salesforce volunteers after a hands-on activity.

Our Shared Journey Continues

The Social Impact Report 2019 is a reflection of where we are on our impact measurement journey. Our approach, frameworks, processes, and reporting will continue to evolve, and we will continue to share them with you.

We are driven by the belief that technology, when used for good, can change the world. Supporting your impact is our mission. We best advance our impact – and that of the social impact community – by helping one another to focus on outcomes. The Edelman Trust Barometer report reminds us that “trust is in crisis” everywhere. Each of us has the opportunity (and responsibility) to help restore trust in a fractured world by leading with impact, aligning on outcomes, and collaborating to achieve them together.

Download the report to learn more.