Headquartered in San Francisco, the Salesforce Foundation has a vested interest in funding initiatives that improve its home turf. In 2010, it announced its new Power of Us: San Francisco program, zeroing in on five non-profit organizations in southeastern San Francisco to receive $10 million each. The interesting thing is, unlike many other private funders, the foundation didn't limit its Power of Us program to one grantmaking area. Health, jobs, education, and the arts all are represented across the five organizations that Salesforce chose to receive the award.
Let's take a closer look at these organizations to see why Salesforce chose them and what they plan to do with the money:
- The Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception located in southeastern San Francisco. The Salesforce Foundation's investment expands the museum's High School Explainer program, which trains and employs high school students as interpreters at exhibits. By boosting student engagement in the museum, the Exploratorium hopes to make its exhibits more compelling for visitors while also educating and empowering its student Explainers.
- The Southeast Health Center (SEHC) is a full-service health clinic operating in a disadvantaged neighborhood. It focuses on providing family medicine, plus dental and mental health services for all patients. The investment from Salesforce will help SEHC develop a pilot program to coordinate mental and physical health issues that are preventing some of its youngest patients from succeeding in school.
- Public housing project HOPE SF hopes to undertake a large-scale revitalization with the foundation's assistance. This revitalization will focus on sustaining current residents while also developing community features that recruit and engage new residents. The foundation's support will also be focused on improving access and attendance at area schools.
- UCSF hospital is already a leader in health care, compassion, and integrating technology with medicine. With the foundation's support, it hopes to focus on workforce development, recruiting more employees from southeastern neighborhoods and giving them the training they need. It also wishes to install media walls and interactive learning stations in patient rooms and public areas.
- Year Up wants to eliminate the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged young adults by providing kids in southeastern neighborhoods with extra experience and support. This effort should help them reach their full professional potential. The big Bay Area expansion — planned with the Salesforce Foundation's support — will enable more youth to enroll in the Year Up program.