Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2011 (Revised October 2011)

Social Innovation at salesforce.com

by Christopher Marquis, Marley C. Kornreich and Bobbi Thomason

Abstract

Salesforce.com recently implemented an innovative social enterprise business model whereby the Salesforce.com Foundation funds its operations and grant budget by selling discounted salesforce.com software licenses to nonprofits and education clients. The case recounts the development and initial stages of this project and the tradeoffs inherent in mixing social and business goals. Furthermore, as background the case also provides detail on Salesforce's 1-1-1 business model, whereby the company contributes one percent of product, one percent of equity, and one percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves.

Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Business Model; Information Technology; Leading Change; Problems and Challenges;

Citation:

Marquis, Christopher, Marley C. Kornreich, and Bobbi Thomason. "Social Innovation at salesforce.com." Harvard Business School Case 412-049, August 2011. (Revised October 2011.)