This story was submitted as part of the #Pledge1Gives GivingTuesday campaign, which celebrates the many ways our member companies are having an impact around the world.

Empower your employees to give back at the individual level by downloading our new Virtual Volunteering Playbook, which includes ideas and best practices on how to excite and inspire individual giving.

From the global pandemic to the Black Lives Matter movement, our status quo will never be the same. But despite the exceptional challenges we face today, we also have an unprecedented opportunity to build a better world. This past year has shown how critical it is for businesses to become more value-driven and play a role in moving the needle on social issues to step up and find new ways to respond in these extraordinary times of need. 

Salesforce is proud to participate in the #GivingTuesday movement and to encourage others to join the wave of generosity, engagement, and action. In celebration of giving back and the customers we support, we’re recognizing three inspirational Salesforce partners who are reimagining how to make an impact for our communities. 

Lowes: Building an inclusive future 

As we recover from the pandemic, business leaders have an opportunity “to redefine company values and back them up with action,” explains Salesforce’s Global Growth Evangelist, Tiffani Bova

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s is a prime example of backing up principles with action. Lowe’s donated $55 million in grants to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, with $30 million in new funding for minority- and women-owned businesses, which continue to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. More than 2,000 businesses nation

wide have received critical funding since the summer when the grant funds were first announced. The next round of funding applications launches Nov. 30 and closes Dec. 6.Visit LISC.org/lowes to learn more or apply for a grant.

With the company’s ongoing commitment to empower minorities and economically vulnerable communities, Lowe’s teamed up with Salesforce to beautify an underserved Black community in Charlotte, N.C. Collaborating with the Art Pop Gallery, Lowes and Salesforce commissioned Abel Jackson — a local Black artist (also one of 22 artists who worked on Charlotte’s Black Lives Matter mural). Titled “Self Love,” the mural brought to life a message of hope, inspiration, and unity for the future, with the depiction of children “Hearing, Imagining, and Being Love.”

Lowes also launched a social media campaign, #BuildThanks, to encourage Americans to make DIY thank you signs for healthcare (and other essential) workers and first responders. The initiative inspired communities to get creative with supplies they already had at home, showing their gratitude to front-liners on their front yards — and sharing these messages online with the hashtag #BuildThanks. 

Gap Inc: Helping communities return to work and school

According to a recent Salesforce survey of more than 20,000 people in 10 countries, people believe that the highest priority for businesses should be ensuring workplace health safety. 

With the onset of COVID-19, leading global retailer Gap Inc. responded to this need with the production of masks. They leveraged their deep supply chain relationships and agile operations, to provide companies and healthcare communities with high-quality reusable, non-medical grade cloth face masks for employees.

John Strain, Chief Digital and Technology Officer explained: “At the beginning of the pandemic, Gap Inc. quickly responded to a customer need for high-quality reusable, non-medical grade cloth face masks.” As offices began re-opening, We started hearing from companies who wanted to help meet the high demand for personal safety, by providing masks to employees. This led to the launch of our B2B mask program.” 

Launching their mask program in only a few weeks, they leveraged Salesforce Commerce Cloud to quickly create a B2B channel and digital storefront. To date, the B2B product program has sold more than 10 million face masks to employers, including the City of New York, the State of California, Kaiser Permanente and a leading consulting firm. 

To help amplify the efforts of Gap Inc, Salesforce purchased 100,000 Gap masks for company employees. And as children and teachers began returning to school, Salesforce donated 16,000 of these masks to public schools in Oakland and San Francisco.

“We’re thrilled to extend our masks to a fellow SF-based organization like Salesforce, and that they are supporting the community by donating to schools in Oakland and San Francisco,” said Strain.

American Family Insurance: Supporting fearless dreamers

In the same Salesforce survey, 60% of respondents said they trust businesses to build a better future for younger generations, a figure that has risen since last fall. But 66% felt that progress has stalled on widening access to education. Others were concerned about work opportunities, with 80% reporting that access to jobs is not improving. 

With a mission to inspire and help communities discover, pursue and protect their dreams #DreamFearlessly, American Family Insurance stepped up to support and celebrate education — especially in underserved Black communities.

AmFam co-sponsored the YouTube Originals HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me On The Yard. This global live stream featured celebrity guests and influencers, to celebrate the traditional fall homecoming weekend at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) across the country. Proceeds were donated to the Funds of the United Negro College and the Thurgood Marshall College.

According to Sherina Smith, Marketing Vice President at AmFam: “American Family welcomes the opportunity to support an event that will bring joy to the lives of many, while underscoring the important role that HBCUs have played in producing fearless dreamers, leaders and achievers who have changed our world.”

The sponsorship also reflects AmFam’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace: “We want to create a thriving workplace and be an employer of choice for diverse talent who can grow their careers and contribute to our inclusive culture,” Smith explained. 

Additionally this year, AmFam’s Community of Dreamers program provided $2,500 grants to 200 non-profits in communities across the United States. In 2020, due to the devastating and continuing effects of the pandemic, contributions were focused on charitable organizations that have stepped up to provide COVID-19 relief,” said Maggie Pascaly, American Family Community Investment Manager.

A Platform for Change

These three Salesforce customers proved that companies can become more values-driven and find creative ways to give back to their communities. We couldn’t be prouder of our partners for taking a stance and making an impact on a large scale. And we’re doing our part too

At Salesforce, we believe the corporate sector can and should be a platform for change. Indeed, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make powerful changes that elevate our brands and build a better world.

Learn how your company can empower employees to give back and make a difference with Philanthropy Cloud.