A Letter to Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, from Tim Lockie, founder of Now IT Matters

Thank You for Helping Us Do #MoreGoodBetter

Hi Mark,

Today, I turn 39 and I’m proud to share my birthday with your brainchild. As Salesforce rings in its big day with charity events in San Francisco, I’ll be celebrating back in my hometown in Montana. On my birthday every year, I play hooky from work, grab my kids from school, and spend the afternoon doing something fun as a family. The way I see it, I’ve got six more years before they graduate high school, so I’m trying to think ahead, to pack in as many experiences together as possible.

You know a thing or two about thinking ahead. When you introduced the world to Salesforce back in 1999, you also introduced us to the 1/1/1 model, joining people, technology, and resources to improve our planet. You've joked that it was an easy decision to make, since you were without equity, profit, or employees. I'm a natural cynic, and am often skeptical of the philanthropic motivations of corporations. You've shown me - and the rest of the world - what a corporation that cares looks like. Salesforce offers a way to make our planet a better place.

In September of 2008, I logged onto Salesforce for the first time, and started building a custom recruiting app for the mid-sized non-profit at which I was employed. With no experience in software development or programming, I configured Salesforce to recruit volunteers to live in Cambodia’s slums, befriend gang-bangers in San Francisco’s Mission district, and to bridge racial divides in South African townships. I had no way of knowing that I would become a Certified Developer, leave that organization to start “Now IT Matters” (a Salesforce consulting company for nonprofits), and become a Salesforce Foundation Partner. Our business just passed the 3 year mark and I’m proud to lead a small dedicated team of repurposed nonprofit practitioners who have become Salesforce experts. To fight poverty, injustice, and social inequality, we help nonprofits use Salesforce. Realistically, our work will probably only make a small dent on social issues, but we’re proud of that dent. I hope you feel proud of it too, because without you we wouldn’t be doing it.

So, on our shared birthday, I want to say thank you. Thank you for giving out free 747s to nonprofits, and for creating a way for Now IT Matters to help our nonprofits do #moregoodbetter. Earlier this week, I was helping a client build a dashboard to measure the effectiveness of using tiny sleeping bags to preserve the lives of premature babies in developing nations using data collected by hand in hospitals that have little more than electricity. These sleeping bags replace the need for expensive incubators. Thank you for allowing the Force.com platform to make that data evaluation possible. Thank you for sticking with your philanthropic 1/1/1 philosophy and supporting the growth of the Salesforce.com Foundation. Thank you for opening the doors of opportunity to organizations, and for turning their vision to help our global community into a reality.

Happy birthday to Salesforce, Mark - and here’s to another year of inspiring growth for the causes that count!


TIM LOCKIE | Owner, Founder & Janitor Certified Salesforce Administrator, Developer, & Sales Cloud Consultant