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October 14, 2014

Philanthropy Trumps Tech at Opening of Salesforce Conference

San Francisco cloud-computing company Salesforce.com opened its annual Dreamforce convention Monday with a focus on giving and community service, asking the anticipated 135,000 attendees to donate canned food or cash for a drive to provide meals for 1 million people, the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Programs on early education, jobs for veterans, and working with nonprofits were also on the agenda in what Salesforce officials said was an effort to spur philanthropic initiatives at other Bay Area tech firms.

"We're doing this so we can inspire others, not because we’re trying to pat ourselves on the back," said Suzanne DiBianca, president of the affiliated Salesforce Foundation. "We want to inspire all the new technology companies that are here in our city." Billionaire Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has led calls for Bay Area tech companies to step up local giving and counter criticism that the booming sector has driven up housing prices and widened income inequality in the region.