The Future of Workplace Culture: Dreamforce Keynote Recap

By Georges Smine | December 17, 2019 | Dreamforce, Philanthropy Cloud, Sustainability

Today’s companies are facing a marketplace that expects them to do good while doing well. The latest research by Cone/Porter Novelli in 2018 supports this notion:

  • 85% of Americans say they would be likely to support a purpose-driven company in their community
  • 68% say they would want to work for that company
  • 80% of consumers prefer to buy products or services from socially conscious brands.

Additionally, the vast majority (74%) of LinkedIn members place a high value on finding work that delivers on a sense of purpose (Global Purpose Index 2016).

Watch the Keynote

What is your company doing to integrate purpose into your work and culture?

Integrating purpose often leads to corporate sustainability and philanthropic efforts. Rather than every company independently setting off to effect change, many are aligning with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which allow individuals and companies to give back independently but with a combined focus that concentrates their efforts. Salesforce.org Philanthropy Cloud is a solution that helps companies engage employees into giving back and track their progress against the SDGs.

Companies of all kinds, across industries, are excited about citizen philanthropy. What does a purpose-driven company look like? Living your values is part of it. But values can’t just be motivational statements on your walls. You have to carefully foster them and boldly act on them. How do you make them lasting and authentic? Start with employees.

One example of values in action is Kellogg. Employee volunteers contribute to Better Days, Kellogg’s program that fights food insecurity, which includes activities like putting together after-school packs for kids to take home on evenings and weekends.

Kellogg Company’s purpose is to nourish families so they can flourish and thrive. Kellogg uses Philanthropy Cloud to power its Better Days Hub — a single platform where employees can find everything they need to give back through the Better Days program. And on the back end, Kellogg gains collective visibility into how employees are engaging, what organizations they’re most interested in, and how many hours they’ve volunteered — all of which admins can easily run reports on. With all of its giving and volunteering data in one place, Kellogg can easily see which content and activities are most effective at engaging employees and double-down on those efforts.

As noted by the United Nations, SDG #2: Zero Hunger is imperative because “a profound change of the global food and agriculture system is needed if we are to nourish the 821 million people who are hungry today and the additional 2 billion people expected to be undernourished by 2050.” The good news is that people want to be part of something that’s bigger than themselves and that companies and employees partnering with nonprofits can work together to make an impact.

William Browning, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, United Way, Stephanie Slingerland, Director, Philanthropy/Social Impact at Kellogg Company, and Ebony Frelix, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Salesforce.org in conversation about fighting hunger at Dreamforce 2019

William Browning, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, United Way, Stephanie Slingerland, Director, Philanthropy/Social Impact at Kellogg Company, and Ebony Frelix, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Salesforce.org in conversation about fighting hunger at Dreamforce 2019

SDG #17, Partnerships to Achieve the Goals, focuses on organizations coming together to accomplish the other 16 goals. Working with United Way Worldwide, Kellogg is using Philanthropy Cloud to address the goal of Zero Hunger. United Way helps connect citizen philanthropists at Kellogg with hungry children and members of the local communities where Kellogg is based.

William Browning, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer for United Way Worldwide, notes, “the United Way value proposition isn’t just about annual giving. It’s evolved to CSR and now to a ‘foundation in a box’ with Philanthropy Cloud, so companies don’t have to create their own content and can measure their impact through SDG and ESG metrics. It means more ease of administration – [and] helps employees choose how they want to give back.”

Screenshots and description of integrated giving and volunteering campaigns

Screenshots and description of integrated giving and volunteering campaigns

Making it easy to give on the go

Employee champions for volunteering and giving used to have to use spreadsheets, paper, and email to mobilize their colleagues to do more good. Now, with an iOS mobile app, employees with a Philanthropy Cloud account can give whenever and wherever they’re inspired. (Note that Philanthropy Cloud Mobile is available now in the App Store for Philanthropy Cloud customers and supports managed devices and single sign-on to keep IT happy. Android is coming soon.*)

Philanthropy Cloud mobile app

See here for more on the Philanthropy Cloud mobile app.

What’s next?

Currently, there are more than 1.5 million ways to get engaged in Philanthropy Cloud. Employee champions can create content, and United Way helps companies find volunteering opportunities. In 2020, nonprofits will be able to publish content in the Philanthropy Cloud platform, accelerating the direct engagement between workplaces and nonprofits.*

Jody Kohner

“Over the years, I have seen a huge correlation between giving back and employee engagement.”
– Jody Kohner, SVP of Employee Engagement

Industry Perspective

Kerri Folmer, Managing Director at the Monitor Institute by Deloitte, Deloitte LLP, provided a wider industry perspective on purpose and workplace culture. Large companies are increasingly linking profit and purpose in various ways. The first is related to market share: In 1975, a company’s market value was comprised of 83% tangible assets and 16% intangible; by 2015, that ratio was flipped. The vast majority (84%) of a company’s market value is due to factors such as trust, reputation, and sustainability of the business model — none of which are not captured by accounting records. The next is related to leadership. In Deloitte’s 2019 Human Capital Trend Report, which polled nearly 10,000 respondents in 119 countries, CEOs were asked to rate their most important measure of success in 2019, and the number-one issue they cited was “impact on society, including income inequality, diversity, and the environment,” showing the urgency of this issue.

Benefits of a Values-Based Culture

The linkage to employees benefiting from a values-based culture deserves emphasis. The vast majority (88%) of employees surveyed report being more fulfilled in their jobs when given the opportunity to contribute to social or environmental issues (according to a report by Taproot Foundation).

Another way that giving back is good for business is through offering employees a way to develop skills in new areas. For a professional services organization like Deloitte, pro bono volunteering helps engage and develop their employees. In total, Deloitte has donated more than 830,000 practitioner hours through its pro bono program. It’s a win-win: Over 95% of pro bono clients say these projects add value, and nearly 90% of Deloitte professionals say these experiences add satisfaction and skills to their job.

Measuring Impact & the Sustainable Development Goals

People Analytics is increasingly gaining the attention of HR people, and understanding employees’ interests in causes can create a stronger alignment between employees and companies around the desired social impact. Today’s employees want to measure their impact, and map their individual goals to the company goals, and even further, to the broader goals, which brings us to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Kerri Folmer, Managing Director at the Monitor Institute by Deloitte LLP

Kerri Folmer, Managing Director at the Monitor Institute by Deloitte LLP

“There wasn’t a conversation I’ve had at Dreamforce that didn’t have purpose in it.”
-Kerri Folmer, Deloitte LLP


Screenwriter Richard Curtis of Love Actually and Bridget Jones’ Diary, who founded Project Everyone, spoke about the SDGs at Dreamforce as well. He noted that more and more businesses are aligning to the SDGs, and that the SDGs are really useful for companies as part of improving the responsibility of their supply chains, making progress on gender equality, and more.

Achieving these global goals rests with each individual, company, nonprofit, and governments. No single entity can solve some of these big problems on its own, and hence, what’s required is a way to democratize access to creating an impact, and spur organic involvement.

This is where Philanthropy Cloud comes in. It’s a tool for companies to empower employees with purpose, engage them into taking action, and empower nonprofits into having a much greater reach, and bring communities together. Whether your work is at the local community level, or at the global level, your contributions have a bigger impact.

What are your favorite Sustainable Development Goals?

Share with us on Twitter by tweeting and mentioning #SDGforce.

P.S. Save the date for Dreamforce next year! It’s November 9-12 in San Francisco.

*Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other blog posts or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and Salesforce.com trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://www.salesforce.org, http://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.