Benioff, Salesforce to give $8.5 million to SF, Oakland schools

Sep 1, 2016 by

By Jill Tucker –

Four years ago, Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff encouraged San Francisco’s struggling middle schools to think big, while backing their ideas with seven-digit donations.

Since then, his company’s nonprofit foundation has written $13.5 million in checks, and the results are starting to come in, district officials said. Test scores are ticking up, class sizes are down, and the use of technology in classrooms is taken for granted.

Benioff and Salesforce are not done. The foundation is not only donating an additional $6 million to try to keep the momentum going in San Francisco schools, but also spreading its wealth and motivational message to Oakland, where the East Bay school district will get its own $2.5 million check.

Benioff is expected to announce the grants Thursday, joining San Francisco and Oakland officials at Oakland’s Frick Impact Academy.

The foundation, Salesforce.org, is self-funded, sharing in the success of the $50 billion business. When he started Salesforce, Benioff adopted a philosophy that 1 percent of company equity, 1 percent of profit in the form of product donations and 1 percent of employee time should be dedicated to philanthropic efforts.

He also donates his own money to causes related to children’s health care, family homelessness and education — including $200 million to what is now called the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

With the new education grants, the foundation’s donations to the San Francisco and Oakland school districts total more than $22 million. That’s a down payment, Benioff told The Chronicle this week.

“I believe that these gifts will exceed more than $100 million in short order,” he said. “I plan to make this part of my company and career.”

The donation includes a commitment of 20,000 volunteer hours from Salesforce employees.

Source: Benioff, Salesforce to give $8.5 million to SF, Oakland schools – SFGate

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