What is the Salesforce 1-1-1 model?

Generosity is a common thread that unites entrepreneurs all over the world. Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Richard Branson, Michael Bloomberg, and many more successful entrepreneurs are known for emphasizing philanthropy in their business i.e. giving back to the society.

Talking of philanthropy, Salesforce.org over the last 18 years has become a vital part of the Salesforce culture. It has allowed Salesforce to engage its employees in its communities and support the effectiveness of the social sector.

A simple idea: “Leveraging technology, people, and resources to improve communities throughout the world” forms the basis of Salesforce.org. Salesforce calls its integrated philanthropic approach to the 1-1-1 model.

Since the founding of Salesforce, it has given grants of more than $240 million in grants to 39,000 nonprofits and educational institutions.

In today’s era, technology is the most powerful equalizer providing access to data, knowledge, and above all connections.

Salesforce pioneered the Pledge 1% model of integrated corporate philanthropy. Pledge 1% model is all about dedicating 1% of equity, product or employee time back into the community. It has so far generated above $280 million, 3.8 million volunteerism employee hours, and technology to 40,000 nonprofit organizations and educational institutions around the globe.

Salesforce 1-1-1 model

In addition, more than 8,500 companies in 100+ countries like Box, Yelp, Docusign, Postmates, Twilio, Okta,  Harry’s, General Assembly, etc. now participate in Pledge 1%. This has itself donated a staggering amount: above $1 billion in volunteer hours, pro bono resources, product licenses, and philanthropic funding.

Marc Benioff (Chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com) had a very unique vision of creating a company that believes and acts for community service. Marc baked in this vision really early on, trying to create a new business model from the initial stage. In fact, during the initial phase when there was a scarcity of product and almost no money, the company focussed on the employees and its volunteering aspect.

Today, Salesforce.org empowers tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations and educational institutions through technology, generous grants, and their volunteering programs.

Salesforce, through its 1-1–1 model has given:

  • 1% Time: Salesforce.com awards 6 paid days of volunteer time to employees over the course of a year. Above 178,000 hours have been donated by employees.
  • 1% Product: 8,000 nonprofits in 70 countries are benefiting from discounted licenses today. The Salesforce.com Foundation facilitates the donation and discount of Salesforce CRM licenses to nonprofits. This helps them in increasing their operating effectiveness and focussing more resources on their core mission.
  • 1% Equity: Salesforce.com has given nearly $20 million in grants to nonprofits and youth development programs which qualify, using 1% of corporate equity for technological innovation. 

A key part of the Foundation’s mission is mentoring other companies and helping them engage in this new type of integrated corporate philanthropy. Today, hundreds of companies around the world have adopted the model from Salesforce, an achievement for which Salesforce feels humbled and proud. 

Let us go through some examples of how the 1-1-1 Model has inspired other businesses to make it as a core facet of their organization.

  • C-Level Management: In-kind consulting grants having worth over $125,000 for providing consulting and technical services at reduced rates for all qualified nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions. Fifty percent of all salesforce.com technology license commissions as a donation to nonprofit organizations.
  • FinancialForce.com: It offers 1% of its product and 1% of its employees’ time. Plus discounted full accounting licenses of cloud-based accounting technology and discounted consulting services.
  • LiveOps: 1% of the current outstanding shares to be used by its foundation. Along with this, a matching gift policy of up to $500/employee/year, and dedicates 1% of employee time to serve an organization of their choice.  
  • NewVoiceMedia: Three days of volunteer time, and donating products and services including training and support, as well as discounts for qualified charities from five of its call centers and speakserve.com. It has also established a foundation with plans to provide grants.
  • Seal Shield: Participation in Disney’s “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” volunteering program, donating its washable, antimicrobial keyboards and mice to the local library system. Also planning to set aside 1% of its corporate equity as warrants for funding its own foundation. 

Cloud Analogy and its philanthropic contributions

Cloud Analogy, one of the world’s most-successful and trusted Salesforce Development Companies in USA, is a Salesforce Pledge 1% partner. In the pursuit of its contributions to its communities, the Salesforce Communities Development Implementation Partner has assisted its communities in different ways.

Teams of Cloud Analogy visited the NGO Care for Life Charitable Trust on April 20, 2019. During this community program, team members of Cloud Analogy offered food, services, and stationery products to people living in more than 300 slums. Snacks, notebooks, pencils, erasers, and fresh dal and rice meals.


The Salesforce ‘Pledge 1%’ or ‘1-1-1’ model originates from the basic idea of harnessing the power of a company’s resources and giving it back to society. The company resources include not only the financial resources but also the intellectual wealth of its employees, technology or products. The purpose is to use these for improving communities and promoting compassionate capitalism. Companies can ensure a dedicated focus and greater impact on the nonprofits and causes they wish to support by deploying all the three elements together.

Author: AJ

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