Salesforce, Johnson & Johnson, and New York Women’s Foundation Harnessing Talent To Remake Workplace Giving

Monday, April 2, 2018

Salesforce, Johnson & Johnson, and New York Women’s Foundation Harnessing Talent To Remake Workplace Giving

Corporate philanthropy is a rapidly evolving space these days. Companies are getting more creative and strategic, backing causes that utilize corporate assets and line up nicely with the quest for profit. Peeking under the hood, some of these projects are self-serving, and others just nibble at big problems that the funders themselves have had a hand in creating. But other corporate philanthropic efforts are both inspiring and effective, as we often report.

Corporate giving remains a modest piece of overall charitable giving in the U.S., totaling $18.5 billion in 2016. It's even more modest compared to corporate profits, which totaled some $6 trillion in 2016. But the smarter use of these funds is opening up new streams of support for nonprofits working in the U.S. and abroad, especially those working on economic inclusion. 

What's more, corporations are trying to get more savvy about tapping one of their greatest philanthropic resources: their employees. As we've been reporting, some new approaches to workplace giving are taking shape. Long the province of rote United Way contributions and less-than-exciting local charity drives, employee giving has been evolving to better complement the new push for higher impact corporate philanthropy. Another key goal, here, is to engage with the desire of many workers, especially millennials, to mesh their professional and charitable lives. 

Salesforce’s new Philanthropy Cloud is a case in point. We recently wrote about how the company that sparked the Pledge 1% movement has developed a “social giving platform” that lets employees more effectively manage their workplace contributions, and even carry those profiles with them between positions.

Recently, we saw the launch of two more engagement-focused workplace giving campaigns. They’re pretty distinct from one another, highlighting some of the diverse ways companies are thinking about employee engagement—often in partnership with foundations, nonprofits and NGOs.