In the Presence of Goodness

Marc BenioffMarc Benioff spoke at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and knocked my socks off. Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce, spoke of the moral imperative to help others. He walks the talk. In 2010, he and his wife made a $100 million gift to UCSF Children’s Hospital. At Salesforce, Benioff pioneered the 1/1/1 Integrated Philanthropic Model, by which companies contribute 1 percent of profits, 1 percent of equity, and 1 percent of employee hours to the communities they serve. At the time he launched the 1/1/1 model, Salesforce had no profits, no equity and no employees. Over the past 13 years, Benioff has overseen $40 million dollars in corporate grants and 400,000 hours of donated employee time. “When it comes down to it, philanthropy isn’t just about big gifts,” he says. “It’s about participation. It’s about the grace that comes from working together, the grace that connects us, and that connects everything together. Nothing feels better.” (P.S. For more philanthropic inspiration, follow my posts by subscribing below to this home page.)

Trying to be a little kinder


Today I received an email from Tomohiro, a man who lives in Tokyo and works as a program manager for an NGO delivering simple, life-changing technologies designed for the developing world.  Tomo is one of 50 men and women from around the world who will be honored by the Dalai Lama in February 2014 as “Unsung Heroes of Compassion,” individuals who compassionately and selflessly care for others with no expectation of recognition or reward.  I had the privilege of writing about the 50 unsung heroes honored in 2001, 2005 and 2009. 

This year, as an event co-producer, I am getting to know and support another 50 honorees.  When I asked Tomo to share something that inspires him in his very difficult work he sent me this by Aldous Huxley: “It’s a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and to find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘Try to be a little kinder.‘”” 

Scattered far and wide, Tomo and the unsung heroes of compassion are definitely my lost tribe.