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Marc Benioff's Big Shame Campaign Hits Its Target

Scott Lucas | May 7, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

"If you want to be in this city, then also give back," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told San Francisco last month. "These are the table stakes."

His hard sell worked. Benioff, along with Tipping Point Community CEO Daniel Lurie, had challenged the heads of local technology companies to donate a collective $10 million to fight poverty over 60 days. They called the program SFGives. That was 60 days ago.

Time's up and the results are in. Benioff and Lurie pulled it off.

Companies that donated at least $500,000 to SFGives were: Apple, Box, Dropbox, Google, IfOnly, Jawbone, Jelly, Levi Strauss & Co., LinkedIn, Lookout, Microsoft, Okta, Partner Fund Management, POPSUGAR, RPX Corporation,, SV Angel, Workday Foundation and Zynga. The money will go to anti-poverty programs selected by Tipping Point.

(We hate to complain about their charitable giving, but Levi's doesn't count as a tech company, does it?)

Not on the list? Some big absences, including Facebook. Benioff has publicly chastised Zuckerberg over his philanthropic giving. Also not participating were Yahoo, whose buses have been blocked (and vomited on) by anti-gentrification protestors; Twitter, which has benefited from two major tax exemptions from the city; and smaller SF-based companies like Yelp, AirBnb, and Uber. Also not on the list: Oracle, whose CEO Larry Ellison Benioff quotes as downplaying the importance of corporate philanthropy.

But there's plenty of time for those firms to come onboard. Benioff and Lurie have announced that they'll be eventually increasing their goal from $10 million to $100 million.

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