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Marc Benioff Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Giving

Salesforce.org cuts its largest check to-date: $12.2 million to public schools.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff 

 

For the fifth consecutive year, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is giving millions of dollars to Bay Area public schools–this time to the tune of a whopping $12.2 million. Evidently, Benioff’s give-big-or-go-home giving ethos outlined in a 2014 interview is not only going strong, it’s picking up speed.

In 2013, its first year, the philanthropic arm of tech giant Salesforce gave $2.7 million to San Francisco Unified School District. That inched up to $5 million and $6 million in 2014 and 2015, respectively. By 2016, the donation tripled in size to $8.5 million, and grew to include the Oakland Unified School District.

This year, SFUSD and OUSD come away with $7 million and $5.2 million, respectively, in a partnership described as a “few-strings-attached,” zeroing in on math and computer science.

Over the course of the partnership, and likely because of it, SFUSD’s goal to become the first district in the nation to incorporate computer science into every grade (originally announced in 2015) is now a reality—a triumph all the more noteable amid the district’s ongoing struggles with a massive teacher shortage.

On the other side of the Bay, the funding has allowed OUSD middle school enrollment in computer science courses to grow from 80 to over 900 students, many of whom are students from communities traditionally left out of the tech boom.

The ever-increasing chunk of change could be a reflection of the tech company’s ever-increasing revenue. Or it could be more simple than that. As Benioff told San Francisco back in 2014, “The ones who give are the happiest.” If that’s the case, this CEO must be very happy indeed.

 

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