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Local United Way launches philanthropy marketplace

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal

By Will Robinson 

March 15, 2108

The United Way of Northeast Florida is one of 11 United Way organizations partnering with Salesforce.org to launch an online philanthropy marketplace.

The new platform, Salesforce.org Philanthropy Cloud, will help employees better engage their workforce by identifying the causes important to them, offering convenient ways to act on those causes and tracking progress towards goals.

"This platform is a way to use technology to connect people with the things they care about and companies with their own employees," said Michelle Braun, CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida.

The tool is designed to be a marketplace for philanthropies, not just United Way, Braun noted. It allows companies to build branded pages for their giving efforts, uses analytics to recommended causes and organizations based on users' interests and acts as a social media platform that helps organizations show donors' the impact of their giving.

"This can be a one-stop corporate social responsibility platform," said Braun.

The platform is localized, connecting users with organizations in their area, noted Annie Tutt, head of corporate engagement for United Way of Northeast Florida.

"People want to give where they live, work and play," said Tutt. "This platform will connect people with where they are."

Corporate philanthropic campaigns reduce employee turnover and increase employee engagement, Tutt noted. United Way of Northeast Florida conducts more than 620 workplace campaigns that reach about 224,000 employees.

The tool is still being developed in partnership with Salesforce.org and United Way Worldwide, but it will launch by the end of June.

"We have a healthy list of companies in the area who are interested," said Braun.

United Way of Northeast Florida, as one of 11 piloting the program, hopes to be an example that other United Way organizations follow.

"This is the next wave for philanthropy," said Sarah Henderson, director of marketing and communications. "It's exciting to be trailblazers in this."