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Build Your Program

Plan Your Giving Structure

Plan Your Giving Structure

Once you complete the legal and organizational steps to set up your foundation, it’s time to hire staff and build out your programs. Our experience shows that it’s best to hire a dedicated person – don’t ask an employee to do this work in addition to his or her regular job. However, do leverage the experience, insight and resources of employee volunteers through an employee volunteer council or in an informal capacity. As you get started, a single foundation executive can oversee various program components. Over time, you may want to dedicate someone for each program.

The most common programs include volunteer programs, grants programs, employee giving programs and product donations. Many of these programs are unique to the companies, employees and executives of the organizations that run them.

1% Time

1% Time

Successful volunteer programs involve multiple components including team volunteering, individual volunteering, family volunteer opportunities, pro-bono service, board service, recognition programs, and outcome measurements. Consider all these aspects when developing your programs to make it effective for employees, the company, and the community.

Encourage and promote employee volunteering by establishing a Volunteer Time Off (VTO) policy. At Salesforce every employee earns 6 paid days off to volunteer and volunteering starts day one at our new hire orientation. A great place to start is to determine what causes your employees have a passion to support through a company wide survey or focus group of employees.

Get started on building an effective employee volunteer program with these helpful resources:

1% Product

1% Product

An easy way to start your philanthropic programs is to provide your product or service for free or at a deep discount. How can your product or service contribute to solving a social problem or support a nonprofit’s mission? Check out Salesforce.org’s Power of Us product donation program.

Or learn what other companies are doing like:

1% Equity

1% Equity

One of the best ways you can leverage your future success for social good is by pledging 1% of your company or founder’s equity. This sets asides and protects funds that can be earmarked for future grantmaking or to endow your foundation. Companies can decide to set aside equity at any stage in their company, from when they write their articles of incorporation, after they have raised multiple rounds of funding or even after they have filed their S-1. The earlier you set aside the equity, the easier it is to do as a company. Setting aside a sizable amount of equity is imperative, as it allows for you to have a meaningful amount of monies for your foundation.

Structuring Your Grantmaking

Structuring Your Grantmaking

It is important for companies to have guidelines in place to frame corporate grantmaking and employee volunteer programs. This makes your programs transparent to important audiences such as nonprofit organizations desiring funding and employees who wish to volunteer and support the causes they care most about. You want your grant programs to support your local communities and nonprofits, but they also provide an opportunity to empower your employees by giving them input into the direction of corporate and individual donations.

At Salesforce.org, we make grants with a focus on: employee-inspired giving including team volunteering activities and matching gifts; technology innovation through our annual Force for Change initiative; and supporting healthy communities in the locations where Salesforce has corporate offices.

Get started on your grant programs with these helpful resources: