The cloud computing company will invest $50 million in startups that are changing the world.

by Gregory Trueblood Read more from the Purpose-Led Organization issue

Salesforce has built its brand on doing well by doing good.

“Companies can do more than just make money, they can serve others,” CEO Marc Benioff told Forbes. “The business of business is improving the state of the world.”

That philanthropic purpose was formalized in the organization’s “1-1-1 model,” which leverages 1 percent of the company’s technology, 1 percent of its people and 1 percent of its resources to improve the world.

Salesforce is now putting this model into action to influence social change Click To Tweet. In October, Salesforce Ventures launched a $50 million impact investment fund “to invest in social enterprises that are using its cloud-based customer relationship management platform in new ways to change the world,” according to Fast Company. The fund will specifically seek out startups using the Salesforce platform in four priority areas:

  • Workforce development: Companies enabling equal access to education to prepare students and workers for the jobs of the future.
  • Equality: Companies developing tools that promote equal opportunity and economic empowerment for women and underrepresented groups.
  • Sustainability: Companies creating better access to clean energy, improving resource efficiency and increasing supply chain performance.
  • Social sector: Companies amplifying impact for nonprofits and NGOs through technology that increases efficiency and transparency.

“At Salesforce, we’ve been committed to doing good as part of our business model since our founding and pioneering of the 1-1-1 model,” said Suzanne DiBianca, executive vice president, corporate relations and chief philanthropy officer, Salesforce, in a press release. “The Salesforce Impact Fund allows us to support a new generation of startups that are focused on driving positive social change.”


Gregory Trueblood is a consultant with Insigniam.

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