Announcing the Salesforce.org Community Impact Report 2021

Today, Salesforce.org is excited to announce the release of the Salesforce.org Community Impact Report 2021. Our fourth annual report shows how our customers are using the resources Salesforce.org provides to create and increase their social impact. Given the incredible hardships and changes our communities have endured the past 20 months, […]

Today, Salesforce.org is excited to announce the release of the Salesforce.org Community Impact Report 2021. Our fourth annual report shows how our customers are using the resources Salesforce.org provides to create and increase their social impact. Given the incredible hardships and changes our communities have endured the past 20 months, the ability to offer more targeted guidance and support to help our customers to fulfill their missions has never been greater. Having data and evidence enables us to better target resources that can deliver the greatest impact.

What’s New For 2021?

Something new for this year is the format of the report, which has been built as a Tableau dashboard. The report can now be more easily accessed from anywhere. In addition to the new format, this is the second year that we’ve used our Customer Outcomes Survey to gather data. This survey allows us to look at longitudinal changes in customer behavior, and provides even better insight into how we can better support our customers to deliver even more impact.

Our Approach to Social Impact

We are focused on helping the social sector close the gap between its current impact and its full potential. We work to close the impact gap in three ways:

1. Technology: We accelerate social sector impact through our transformative technologies.

2. Community: We convene, connect, listen to, and learn from our community of customers and partners to co-create a better future.

3. Partnerships: We build social innovation capacity through partner services, pro bono support, and impact-led partnerships.

Image from the report showing our approach to impact

Contributing Social Value & Impact Through Tech, Community, and Partnerships

For Fiscal Year 2021, Salesforce.org contributed $1.45 billion in social value to the social sector, which is the sum total of the value of our product donations and discounts, as well as pro bono hours. This is an increase from $1.09 billion in social value for Fiscal Year 2020.

While this number is impressive, we know that our giving by itself does not translate to impact. However, we need to understand what we’re providing to the social sector as impact potential. Understanding our social value is necessary, but not sufficient, for understanding our social impact. We must also understand how our community leverages the resources we provide to increase their impact and make the world a better place — and we have evidence that our customers are doing just that!

We want our customers to work smarter with the resources they have, build and maintain deep connections with their constituents and their peers, be better able to measure and manage their own impact, and ultimately better fulfill their missions. To understand the impact our customers are creating, our focus continues to be on the customer outcomes of efficiency, effectiveness, community connection, and innovation.

Customer Outcomes Highlights

Using Salesforce has helped our customers streamline their processes. Of the surveyed customers, 88% indicated that using Salesforce changed or improved how work gets done — up from 82% last year.

Salesforce continues to help our customers focus on their impact, with 87% of surveyed customers noting that using Salesforce gives them an improved ability to achieve their missions. This figure is up from 84% last year.

Our customers are improving in their ability to measure their impact and create a culture of data and learning. Just under half (47%) of surveyed customers reported that they are better able to evaluate the effectiveness of their work and programs due to their use of Salesforce, which is up from 42% last year.

Image from the impact report depicting YoY improved ability to achieve missions

Creating Solutions for, and With, Our Community

The work we do with our community explicitly focuses on providing opportunities for our customers and partners to collaborate on technology solutions for the social sector’s toughest problems. Specific programs in this area include:

Trailblazer Community, a space where our community of customers can learn relevant skills, connect to other Trailblazers, and give back together. There are currently 136 Trailblazer Community Groups worldwide.

Open Source Commons and Community Sprints, where our Salesforce-savvy community gathers to co-create solutions together. In Fiscal Year 2021, approximately 300 attendees came together in Community Sprints to develop seven products for the community to use.

Impact Labs, a collaborative program between Salesforce employees and community members that co-designs innovative technology solutions aimed at addressing the toughest social challenges facing us today. The current cohort is working on a solution to support marginalized communities most affected by the climate crisis.

Building Increased Social Impact Capacity through Partnerships

Our customers continue to take advantage of our partner ecosystem, with 60% of surveyed customers noting that they’ve used a partner from our global network of approximately 400 partners to build, expand, or enhance their Salesforce instance.

Both customers and employees continue to find great value in our pro bono program! Of surveyed customers, 94% indicated that they’re better able to meet their missions due to their pro bono project work (up from 86% last year), and 93% of employees who participated in pro bono projects reported that their experience made them happier at work.

How Salesforce.org Measures and Reports on Its Impact

To accurately report on our social impact, we focus on customer outcomes in order to ensure that we’re telling the most accurate story possible with our data. To do that, we collected both quantitative and qualitative data to put together this year’s Community Impact Report. The data in this report comes from the 2021 Customer Outcomes Survey; customer interviews; customer and employee surveys focused on pro bono support, Impact Labs participation, and Community Sprint participation; and internal Salesforce.org data.

For more insights, download the full Salesforce.org Community Impact Report 2021.


About the Authors

Jacob Bindman, Co-founder & Chief Program Officer at SF New Deal
Brian Komar
VP of Global Impact Innovation at Salesforce.org
Brian is vice president of global impact innovation at Salesforce.org where he leads the efforts to help NGOs, EDUs, and corporate social impact officers measure, manage, report, and improve their social impact. His career at Salesforce spans more than 10 years, with previous roles leading global marketing at Saleesforce.org and public sector industry solutions.
Eric Barela, Director of Measurement and Evaluation at Salesforce.org
Eric Barela
Director of Measurement and Evaluation at Salesforce.org
Eric is the director of measurement & evaluation at Salesforce.org, where he leads efforts to evaluate the social impact of Salesforce.org’s global initiatives. With nearly 20 years of experience as an internal evaluator, Eric specializes in building organizational measurement and evaluation systems and evaluating technology innovation, urban education, and workforce development programs. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association from 2018 to 2020 and is currently on the Editorial Advisory Board of the American Journal of Evaluation.
Morgan Buras-Finlay, Senior Manager of Measurement and Evaluation at Salesforce.org
Morgan Buras-Finlay
Senior Manager of Measurement and Evaluation at Salesforce.org
Morgan is senior manager for measurement & evaluation at Salesforce.org, focusing on assessing the impact of Salesforce technology on the social sector. Morgan is dedicated to the intersection of social justice and technology, and supporting the social sector’s effective use of technology to amplify its impact and drive social change. Prior to Salesforce, she led evaluation efforts on multiple federal grant initiatives, and was the director of evaluation at the Mission Economic Development Agency. Morgan leverages her experience and expertise so that nonprofit organizations may best support their communities and drive towards maximum impact.

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