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Salesforce Volunteers with Junior Achievement

By Barb Smeltzer July 24, 2014

What do you get when you combine hundreds of passionate Salesforce employee volunteers, close to 3,000 middle school students and a local not-for-profit organization with an innovative out of the box program? 1/1/1 magic! This fall, on November 13, the Salesforce Toronto office will participate in the third annual Junior Achievement Day (#JA Day), delivering the Economics of Success program to grade 8 students around the Greater Toronto Area. The program focuses on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

Salesforce JA volunteers

The groundwork for this successful partnership began when Junior Achievement of Central Ontario (JACO) became a customer in 2009 through the Power of Us Program. Initially, the use of the platform was for registration and fundraising, but has since expanded to include recruitment of volunteers, special events, donor management, and prospecting tool.

Flash forward to July of 2012, when Kevin Johnston, a newly employed Salesforce Account Executive decided to champion a corporate engagement relationship with the local chapter. Already knowing the great work that JACO did from his first taste of participating in 1999 when at Xerox, then becoming a master trainer for other employees at Bell, Kevin saw a great opportunity to leverage the 1/1/1 model in its entirety. The initial goal was just 10 volunteers teaching five classrooms in the city of Toronto. But in true Salesforce style, Kevin closed with 48 volunteers in 23 classrooms. In 2013, a #JA Day organizing employee committee was formed, growing the number to 129 volunteers in 63 classrooms with expansion out to surrounding schools in other cities. To date, JACO has received more than $85,000 in grant money through this partnership and generated 1770 volunteer hours. JA donation, 2013

Not content with just a local impact, Kevin had his eyes set on taking this initiative global. This year will see regions like Dublin, London, Atlanta, Boston, Halifax, Philadelphia and a handful more become part of the JA Day experience. With the support of the Foundation and a local committee of dedicated employees, success is inevitable. “I wanted to create something that was scalable and sustainable to reach youth at risk. #JA Day does that,” says Kevin. “Getting behind a world wide effort is really easy, especially with the successful model we have built in Toronto. We have offices in most global areas where JA chapters exist.” Why Junior Achievement compared to many other great organizations? “Educating youth on financial literacy will benefit us all in the future. This is the legacy we will collectively be leaving behind.”

Leveraging the entire 1/1/1 model, JACO has formed a sustainable partnership with the Toronto hub. “Junior Achievement of Central Ontario is thrilled with the partnership we have developed with Their business is more than data management – they are also active and welcomed participants in our work,” say Jane Eisbrenner, President and CEO. Recently, Kevin Johnston and fellow JA committee member and staff Trisha Bergsma were chosen to be featured in a video for a classroom presentation. “Their passion, commitment and energy made them a clear choice.”