If you don’t know anything about SalesForce’s particular brand of philanthropy, it goes a little something like this: when Marc Benioff created SalesForce, he put corporate giving near the top of the company’s priority list through its 1-1-1 model, which leverages 1 percent of SalesForce’s technology, people, and resources to “improve communities throughout the world.” Since 1999, the SalesForce Foundation has provided some $100 million in grants to nearly 30,000 NGO around the world, while the company and its employees have contributed a huge amount of time and products to advance social good.
A big component of the foundation’s grantmaking is its Force for Change Grants program. Each year, the foundation pledges between $1 million and $2 million in grant money for NGOs and nonprofit higher education institutions around the world “that are focused on using technology in innovative, forward-thinking ways that will have a meaningful social impact.” Individual grants range from $200,000 to $250,000. One of the latest recipients of a Force for Change grant is the Grameen Foundation.
Since 1997, Grameen has dedicated its time and money to “deliver solutions that respond to the needs of the poor, as well as tools that help poverty-focused organizations become more effective.” So the foundation knows more than a little bit about improving the lives and livelihoods of the world’s most marginalized and impoverished populations. And smallholder farmers are among some of the world’s poorest people.
Smallholder farmers around the world face a whole host of challenges from blight to logistics. In Columbia, they often lack the knowledge to meet market demand and maximize profits. With the help of the Force for Change Grant, Grameen will improve economic opportunities for smallholder farmers in Columbia though the expansion of its mSourcing Solutions, an agro-based mobile tech tool that integrates smallholder farmers into larger agricultural value chains while providing real-time market information in an effort improve farming efficacy.
SalesForce is a leader in the corporate philanthropy game and we can most assuredly expect its grant numbers to grow in the coming years.