SF Gives was launched in early March by Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and Daniel Lurie, CEO of Tipping Point, a non-profit. The goal is for 20 businesses to contribute $500,000 each for a total of $10 million that will be used to fund local charity programs.
Box, Dropbox, Google, IfOnly, Jawbone, LinkedIn, POPSUGAR and Zynga had already joined salesforce.com as founding members of the campaign. SF Gives will spearhead efforts to break the cycle of poverty by providing access to jobs, housing, education and health care in the Bay Area.
Tech companies in the Bay Area have been blamed for using city bus stops "without permission", driving up rent costs along those routes, not contributing funds to support public infrastructure, and causing the evictions of San Francisco residents who can no longer afford rent.
Demonstrators have blocked buses carrying Google and Apple employees, held a rally at the Crunchies tech awards gala, and protested outside Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose's home.
About ten companies of those contacted so far have declined to contribute. "For some, they feel like they're doing their own thing: They're giving back [already], and they're involved," says Lurie. Other companies don't generate revenue and feel it's inappropriate to give away their investors' money. "Then, there are others who just fundamentally believe that a company shouldn't be doing philanthropy and that individuals should do it," adds Lurie. "We'll win some people over, and some we won't. But it won't stop us from continuing to push."