Wins California Prize is the winner of this year’s USF California Prize for Service and the Common Good for the nonprofit’s role in spearheading a corporate philanthropy movement that encourages businesses to donate time and resources to the community as a core part of their business., the philanthropic arm of cloud-based software giant Salesforce, carries out Salesforce’s innovative 1-1-1 model, under which the $48 billion company dedicates 1 percent of its employee time, 1 percent of its equity, and 1 percent of its product to help improve communities.

“Like the University of San Francisco, is committed to making the city and the world a better place,” said USF President Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. “As the university of and for San Francisco, USF shares a commitment with to educate and to give back for the good of all of society.”

The USF California Prize is awarded annually to an individual or organization that has provided significant service to the poor and marginalized, and has made groundbreaking achievements in pursuit of the common good. Prizewinners receive a handcrafted silver medal and $10,000 at an award gala and dinner that draws some of the state’s leading philanthropists, civic dignitaries, and business leaders. Past honorees include the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco Free Clinic.

The San Francisco Chronicle is the exclusive media sponsor of this year’s event.

A challenge to CEOs to take the pledge

Salesforce has donated more than $115 million in grants globally since the company’s founding in 1999, including $14 million in grants to the San Francisco Unified School District. Salesforce employees receive paid volunteer days and have spent more than 1.3 million hours in their local communities. On their first day with the company, employees spend an afternoon volunteering at organizations, including SF-Marin Food Bank, St. Anthony’s Foundation, and Golden Gate Audubon Society.

“When we started Salesforce, we decided to make giving back a core part of our DNA,” said Suzanne DiBianca, executive vice president of corporate relations and chief philanthropy officer at Salesforce. “Seventeen years later, we are proud to have delivered on that vision and are honored to be recognized by USF with the California Prize for Service and the Common Good.”

Even more important, the company is spreading its generous philosophy to the rest of the corporate world.

In 2014, cofounded the Pledge 1% campaign, challenging entrepreneurs and their companies to commit to integrating philanthropy into their businesses at a fundamental level. Companies, from early-stage startups to established businesses, can make the pledge at, a website that provides tips and tools on how to make the commitment work and how to connect with community resources. So far, more than 700 companies have joined.

An influential voice

Salesforce has also taken a vocal stand against anti-LGBTQ legislation in several states, acting on one of its core values: equality. In Indiana and Georgia, the company announced it would scale back investment if anti-LGBTQ legislation became law. Salesforce also called for other CEOs to address equal pay between men and women at their companies after the company spent $3 million in 2015, closing its own gender pay gap.

Earlier this year, Salesforce announced a $5 million partnership to benefit The Global Fund to Fight AIDS.

“With community engagement and service-leadership at the core of USF, the university is encouraging the types of leaders who will go on to bring these ideas into the workforce. These are the types of people we like to hire at Salesforce,” said DiBianca. “We’re grateful that USF has made this a core part of its mission.”