On February 7th, 300 people attended the third annual gala breakfast hosted by the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation’s Business Leadership Council (BLC) to hear Warren Hellman, chairman and co-founder of Hellman and Friedman, and Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, speak about the power of business leaders to produce positive social change.
The speakers moderated their own discussion, which focused on the positive role that the proactive advocacy of corporate philanthropy can play throughout an organization. In response to a question from the audience as to whether promoting corporate philanthropy is inconsistent with creating sharholder value, Benioff forcefully replied that "doing good" absolutely builds shareholder value. I strongly agree.
Warren Hellman, who serves on the board of Salesforce.com’s charitable foundation, asked Marc to talk about the 1:1:1 model which he established at the early inception of Salesforce.com. 1:1:1 represents a pledge of 1% of the company’s equity (when it was still private); 1% of profits (once you have them); and 1% of employees’ paid time (6 business days per year) to charitable purposes. Today, the Salesforce.com foundation employs 16 full-time staff and manages "tens of millions" of dollars.
The Business Leadership Council (BLC), which I currently chair, reaches out to over 1,500 Jewish professionals in the Bay Area through close to a dozen events each year. We host smaller seminars (30 to 80 people) on topics ranging from current trends in real estate to protecting intellectual property; and larger networking events (200+ people) designed to bring people together to meet in a community that shares both business and philanthropic goals. We have barely scratched the surface in reaching out to the 6th largest Jewish community in America. If you want to learn more about the BLC, go to www.sfjcf.org and click on the Business Leadership Council.
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