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Help: It’s in the DNA of the Salesforce Doc Team

By January 12, 2015

By: Kathy Ellis, Lead Technical Writer, Salesforce

You know that the Salesforce Doc/UA team creates great online help for our products, but we also “help” our community by giving back in a big way. The Doc Team has among the highest collective volunteer hours for a team at Salesforce. Whether it’s holding a bake sale to raise money to fight cancer, planting native flowers in a local park, or going abroad to help build a school, the members of the Doc Team enthusiastically support Salesforce’s 1-1-1 model.

Giving back is close to the heart of our team. Andrea Lezsek, VP of Technology Services, makes sure that volunteering activities aren’t just included in the team’s yearly V2MOM–they’re prioritized. In fact, in recognition of her commitment to community engagement and philanthropy during her career at Salesforce, Andrea was selected to participate in a volunteer recognition trip to Cambodia last Fall in partnership with Room to Read.

Cambodia House Building

The list of nonprofits we support is as varied and colorful as the members of the team. We have writers who serve as board members, tutors, coaches, and fundraisers. We restore and preserve the wilderness, pet shelter cats, catalog books, and feed the hungry. Team members have recently travelled to Belize, Cambodia, Kenya, and Madagascar for their volunteer efforts. Closer to home, Ellen Chiri from the team is a docent at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, and Michelle Sharron, our Senior Video Producer, is an aquarium diver at the California Academy of Sciences.

Doc Team Volunteers

Tutor of the YearWhile much of our volunteer time involves getting our hands dirty, we love to put our professional skills to work, as well. Caity Cronkhite, a writer on Service Cloud, was just awarded Tutor of the Year for her inspiring work as a Business Communications tutor for Year Up. And this summer, over 30 writers spent a day together to brainstorm, dogpile, and work on documentation for the nonprofits who use Salesforce to run their organizations. A subset of that team went the extra mile and helped to deliver the Nonprofit Starter Pack Workbook for Dreamforce.

Volunteering makes us work better as a team. The cooperation and camaraderie of team volunteer events help us to remain a close-knit group even though we work on different clouds and products within the company. It’s always great to catch up and see what’s going on with other writers while you’re measuring rice into bags, raking leaves, or picking up trash.

Our team’s heart for philanthropy helps us to attract and retain some of the top talent in the industry. Mark Leonard, a writer on the Platform team, had this to say about the 1-1-1 model, “It’s amazing to work at a company that cares about the community and gives back through money and volunteer time. The Foundation is one of the major reasons why I love my job.”

And while it’s sometimes tough to set aside time from our busy schedules, it’s always worth the feeling of gratitude and deep satisfaction we get from giving back. Alicia Goolsby, a Communities writer, recently returned from a trip to build a school in Madagascar and had this to say, “Volunteering helps me be a better human being. It’s easy to get caught up in your daily life and forget to be grateful…Volunteering makes me feel good–plain and simple–and Salesforce provides an amazing opportunity to keep feeling good and spreading good.”

Salesforce Docs Team Volunteering