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Donor Highlight: Nathan Baker, Salesforce

Early Learning Indiana donors come from all backgrounds, each with unique and inspiring ways they came to learn of our work. Nathan Baker is a senior solution engineer with Salesforce.org. He spent 10 years in higher education building Salesforce on the campus before transitioning to Salesforce in 2021 as part of their solution engineering team. He now works specifically with large higher education institutions in the upper Midwest, helping them solve business issues with Salesforce. But it wasn’t at work that Nathan learned of Early Learning Indiana.

“There’s a former employee of ELI who worked on ELI’s Salesforce implementation, and he and I attend church together,” Nathan explains. “I offered my professional assistance on whatever he was working on with Salesforce at the time. Some pro bono work just to strategize around ELI’s Salesforce implementation.”

Then in October 2022, the global Salesforce Solution Engineering Team works with higher education and nonprofit organizations had its annual virtual summit. The week is always full of activities, Nathan explains, and one of those was a cycling, running and walking challenge. The team member who logged the most miles in each category would have the opportunity to allocate $300 to a nonprofit of their choice, which would then also be matched through Salesforce’s corporate giving policy.

“I enjoy walking, I walk a lot anyway, and it felt like a reasonable thing to achieve during the week,” Nathan says. “So, I set my mind to it, and I did it.”

Each day that week, Nathan got up early and walked before and after work. He even participated in several meetings while walking.

“I was in close competition with a colleague in the UK. We were neck and neck all week, so the last day, I had to walk extra to make sure I pulled ahead.”

When the final totals were tallied, Nathan had logged 82.36 miles, a little less than 10% of the 843.78 miles walked by the whole team. As the winner, he was able to select a nonprofit to receive Salesforce’s $600 donation.

“It’s a nice complete life cycle story,” he says. “ELI is a Salesforce customer. Something we really care about at Salesforce is equity and access to education. ELI is working diligently to increase access to early learning in Indiana. I recognize the disparity in educational access in Marion County, even just with where I live in Hamilton County. Our values align really well, so it hits close to home. I’m happy to collaborate with them on their work and what they’re trying to accomplish.”

Early Learning Indiana is grateful to Nathan for his donation. If you would like to learn more about making a corporate or personal donation, contact Kirsten Yeager at kirsteny@earlylearningindiana.org.

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