Sage, a UK enterprise software company with 14,000 employees, today announced it is signing up to a philanthropy initiative pioneered by Californian cloud giant Salesforce.

The move suggests the two firms are aiming to align their corporate cultures after the pair strengthened their partnership last month in a bid to boost customer acquisitions and allow Sage to develop a brand new product on the Salesforce platform. 

Newcastle is home to an increasing number of digital technology firms ©Flickr/Wojtek Gurak

Salesforce, a multibillion dollar firm run out of San Francisco,  announced its 1-1-1 Pledge 15 years ago. Ever since it has been inviting entrepreneurs and their companies to commit important resources (product, equity and time) to support integrating philanthropy into their business from an early stage.

Now, Newcastle-headquartered Sage has pledged to go one step further and adopt a “2+2+2”  model. This means that Sage will donate or give two percent of its product sales to nonprofits, two percent of its company time towards volunteering and two of its products to any charity, social enterprise or non-profit. 

Sage claims it is an example of “corporate compassionate capitalism” adding that it demonstrates Sage’s "commitment to philanthropic leadership in the FTSE 100".

Through the so-called "Sage Foundation", Sage will allow its staff to contribute five days per year in work time to volunteer with any non-profit organisation they elect to support. It will also provide grants of an undisclosed amount to create entrepreneurial "opportunities" for the young and disadvantaged within certain communities, as well as grants to match employee charitable donations and fundraising. 

Through the Safe Foundation, non-profit organisations will also be able to apply for the company's Sage One, Sage Life or X3 products. 

Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, said: “It’s great to see plans for the Sage Foundation and its support for the philanthropic model we pioneered at Salesforce. By integrating philanthropy into its culture on a global scale, Sage can make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world.” 

Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, founder of digital charity Go ON UK and lastminute.com, said: “The UK has a strong history of businesses giving back and helping to improve social and economic conditions among disadvantaged communities. As the largest UK technology company, it’s fantastic to see Sage not only take up this mantle, but in doing so, set a new global benchmark for corporate philanthropy.” 

Ivan Epstein, chairman of Sage Foundation and CEO of Sage Africa & Asia, said: “The Sage Foundation will provide support to non-profit organisations and communities around the world by sharing the resources of Sage.

"We will help these organisations to create social impact by giving our time, money, expertise and technology. By partnering with the non-profit sector we will free organisations from operational complexity and enable them to run efficient, socially-driven organisations.” 

Other companies to have signed up to Salesforce's philanthropy model include Box, VMWare, Splunk and Google. 

The Sage initiative will be available from 1 October 2015.   

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