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Saving Lives, Empowering Employees: Outforce and The Trevor Project Celebrate Pride Month

By Dustin Pitts June 26, 2018

Salesforce engages employees with purpose-driven partnerships with nonprofits to advance equalityCompanies are increasingly recognizing the benefits of advocating for equality: Creating inclusive workplaces leads to higher job satisfaction, resulting in higher productivity and better economic outcomes. Over the last two decades, there has been a tremendous shift in corporate equality commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) rights and advocacy. Today, over 80% of Fortune 500 companies have established anti-discrimination policies that include LGBTQ employees.

At the heart of equality efforts at Salesforce are the Employee Resource Groups (ERG) known as Ohana Groups. These groups champion social change by providing meaningful opportunities for employees to engage in equality efforts inside the company and beyond. Outforce, the LGBTQ Ohana Group, is the second largest ERG at Salesforce with over 22 chapters globally. Outforce is strategically driving equality across the globe, most recently launching the Outforce India chapter, a major feat due to the fact only 8% of LGBTQ workers in India are out.

Building a strong sense of community is pivotal to Outforce’s mission. Outforce provides multiple opportunities for LGBTQ employees and allies to celebrate diversity by hosting a wide range of events throughout the year, including participating in over 28 Pride Parades globally. Outforce also offers volunteer opportunities for employees to support LGBTQ causes in their communities.

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Building Relationships with Nonprofits that Advance Equality

I am a solution engineer on our team here at focusing on the nonprofit space. You may have read my blog series on direct mail for nonprofits. Along with my work as a Senior Solution Engineer, I have had the pleasure of serving as the Global Philanthropy Chair for Outforce – the LGBTQ affinity group at Salesforce. This role focuses on building relationships between Outforce and nonprofits who share our common values and goals. It has been such a rewarding experience meeting with nonprofits across the globe to help foster those relationships!

When I started my role earlier this year, I had one goal in mind. That was to identify strategic nonprofits who we could partner with and deepen our relationship.

This year I am very proud to announce a major milestone in that goal: the official 2018 United States Pride partner is The Trevor Project!

How The Trevor Project Helps LGBTQ Youth

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people. This organization provides an invaluable service to the LGBTQ community. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. LGB youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth and are more than four times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth.

How does Trevor fulfill their mission? They do this by providing crisis and suicide prevention services to their constituents. This service is done for free via phone, text, and chat to LGBTQ youth. They offer support to their constituents 24/7/365. As you can imagine, this requires a great deal of work to put together a service of this scale. This level of impact really stood out to me and that is when we put together our partnership.

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About Outforce and The Trevor Project

Here is what the partnership looks like. Outforce is:

  • Making a donation to The Trevor Project
  • Providing co-branded marketing material for Pride booths and events across the US
  • Donating booth space to The Trevor Project at all Pride events in the United States where applicable
  • Hosting The Trevor Project at a webinar that will be broadcast to the entire employee community during Pride month
  • Partnering with The Trevor Project to create employee volunteer opportunities
  • Promoting The Trevor Project at local office events during Pride month

One of the things that I am most proud of from this partnerships is the ability to offer Salesforce employees volunteer opportunities directly with Trevor. You may know that each Salesforce employee receives seven paid days off per year as part of our social enterprise model (which started with the 1-1-1 framework) to volunteer with the nonprofit of their choice. Since many of Trevor’s offerings are completely volunteer-run, this is a great fit for both organizations.

“At The Trevor Project, we look to build partnerships that authentically integrate our mission into our partners’ business goals and values,” said Muneer Panjwani, Head of Corporate Development for The Trevor Project. “As we continue to build our digital crisis services platform with Salesforce software, it was a no-brainer to create meaningful opportunities for Salesforce employees to volunteer on that platform to help support LGBTQ young people.”

I am really proud of the work Trevor is doing for the LGBTQ community here in the US. I see them really embodying the ideals of a Trailblazer in the nonprofit space. Not only are they tackling a truly important social issue, but they are doing it with an innovative mindset. They use Nonprofit Cloud to help drive their growth at a very aggressive pace. They are also taking the innovative approach of working directly with employee resource groups at large Fortune 500 companies to help grow their volunteer and donor base. This blend of both fundraising and programs is a trend that I am seeing with my most innovative nonprofit customers.

I see Trevor as an organization that is setting the bar for the others out there – they can teach us all a thing or two!

Get more information on the programs at Trevor and support their lifesaving work.

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About Equality at Salesforce

At Salesforce, Equality is a core value. We strive to create workplaces that reflect the diverse communities we serve, where everyone feels like they belong, and everyone is empowered to bring their whole selves to work. Learn more about the business value of equality, the impact of unconscious bias, and equality ally strategies in this Trailhead Trail on how to cultivate equality at work. Together we can achieve #EqualityForAll.

Cultivate Equality at Work