Two of San Francisco’s wealthiest residents have launched a $4 million dollar campaign aimed at boosting civic pride in the city. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne Benioff announced the “Benioffs Backs SF” initiative on Monday, pledging the funds to support local nonprofits and spur community engagement.
The campaign comes as San Francisco faces challenges with issues like homelessness, drug addiction and property crime. The Benioffs said they hope the effort can “ignite a new wave of optimism” for the city they’ve called home for over 35 years. The campaign is not about marketing or sweeping problems under the rug, but rather about showing the nation that San Francisco always comes back.
“When a place raises all boats – lifts the poorest, cares for the sick, inspires the talented, and encourages the seekers – the world notices,” said Marc Benioff. The funds will provide grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 for community organizations focused on the arts, homelessness, the environment and more. An advisory board of city leaders will determine grant recipients.
Along with financial grants, the campaign will promote community events like volunteer days to help mobilize residents. The Benioffs said they were inspired by their family tradition of “coming together at Christmas to discuss what San Francisco needs and how we can help.”
“San Francisco has given our family so much, and we want to give back,” said Lynne Benioff. “We hope to inspire others to give back to the city we love.” The tech-philanthropist couple has donated over $1 billion to hospitals, homeless programs and schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their latest civic boosterism campaign aims to spread more grassroots goodwill.