How One Palm Coast Company Practices Corporate Social Responsibility

Members of a community often strive to be good citizens. Did you know that corporate leaders often consider their organization’s impact on society as well? It’s a pillar of good business practices known as corporate citizenship or corporate social responsibility.

Florida-based tech company Coastal Cloud, co-founded by Tim and Sara Hale, has long considered their impact on the communities in which they do business.  Analyzing how their footprint is helping to make these communities a better place, the couple consciously incorporates the components of corporate social responsibility (CSR) – philanthropy, environment conservation, diversity and labor practices, and volunteerism into their business model.

Growing by leaps and bounds since 2012, the platinum rated Salesforce consulting company has expanded their footprint beyond the borders of Florida, with remote workers around the world and in major hubs in Denver, Colorado and Louisville, Kentucky.

The Hales have made it a priority to empower their 230-member team with an open door policy that strengthens the relationships between co-workers and fosters a synergistic atmosphere of shared values and goals, according to Sara.

“Our core values include respect and support for teammates, continuous learning, and commitment to client success,” she said. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.  This is what makes our team a family. We believe these core values create happiness, which in turn, attracts the best talent in the industry and makes them want to stay.”

“We constantly remind our employees that success for our clients directly correlates with our goal and success. Although we are a mostly remote company, we work hard to prioritize teamwork. Our wide variety of diverse backgrounds promotes acceptance, support and the general desire for others to succeed,” Tim agrees.

Becky Wagner

Becky Wagner, a project manager for the Nonprofit and Higher Education sector of Coastal Cloud, says she found her niche almost two years ago with the company and has been able to establish a fulfilling work-life balance because of the supportive culture at Coastal Cloud.

“I cannot describe how fortunate I feel to work in a business that combines my skill set with clients that are having a large impact and making a difference,” said Wagner. “It’s amazing how much technology can make a difference in making an impact.”

In addition to the ability to work from just about anywhere in the world and a generous benefits package which includes “Responsibility Days” – paid days off that can be used for sick days, family time, or even volunteering – she’s been able to convert her passion for helping nonprofit organizations into a rewarding career.

“Part of their amazing work-life balance is that you can work full-time but have the flexibility to work wherever you need to get the job done,” she says with appreciation.

Sara Hale

Headquartered in Palm Coast, Florida, Coastal Cloud’s motto “Live at the beach, work in the cloud”, is more than a tagline for president, co-founder and managing partner Sara Hale. With a soft spot for the Sea Turtle Hospital, located at the University of Florida’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in the town of Marineland, Florida, Coastal Cloud has provided pro-bono work for the marine research facility since 2015.

In addition to setting up and managing a customer relationship management platform for the Sea Turtle Hospital – the only sea turtle rehabilitation facility in Northeast Florida, Coastal Cloud has provided volunteers and direct financial support to help further their mission, according to Sara.

“We believe it is important to continue research, conservation and education surrounding these delicate creatures in order to balance the beautiful ecosystem that surrounds our headquarters,” she explains.

In 2020, their extensive portfolio of work with nonprofits earned Coastal Cloud an expert level rating from Salesforce.

“Coastal Cloud is uniquely positioned to focus our philanthropic efforts toward the diverse environment of Florida. With headquarters just seconds away from the beach, we are excited to partner with impactful organizations that share our connection to the ocean. We provide our services at a discounted rate for nonprofits because furthering the success of inspiring organizations, greatly outweighs the cost of our services,” she said.

Coastal Cloud also assists nonprofits like Parkland, Florida’s Safe Schools for Alex, and the Jacksonville-based Wounded Warrior Project. Coastal Cloud customizes their Salesforce platforms to meet each organization’s specific needs.

“With several active duty military employees, military spouses and veterans on our own team, Coastal Cloud is deeply supportive of the Wounded Warrior Project,” said Coastal Cloud co-founder and managing partner Tim Hale. “Our team has provided services to enhance Wounded Warriors’ technical solution to better serve our country’s heroes in need. The solution allows Wounded Warriors to optimize and manage donor relationships, increase the effectiveness of donor strategies, increase donor retention, track and manage grants and view valuable reports and dashboards that drive strategic decisions.”

In addition to working with current commercial and nonprofit clients, Coastal Cloud has made an investment in the future of the region’s workforce, offering opportunities for students to learn through hands-on experiences. Since 2018, Coastal Cloud has provided 40 students with unique learning opportunities through their paid internship programs, both through the local Flagler County school system as well as local colleges.

Partnering with Bethune-Cookman University to conduct an ‘intern for a day’ program for students with an interest in the technology and consulting area, a paid internship opportunity was offered to a select group of the students that attended the ‘intern for a day program.’

Working with the Flagler County School District, high school students are provided internship opportunities each spring, focused on the technology industry and consulting, with the end goal of achieving their Salesforce certification.

Through the Flagler Schools’ Classrooms to Careers Program, Coastal Cloud supported the launch and is providing ongoing support for the Information Technology Flagship, which is now incorporated into the curriculum of the i3 Academy at Flagler Palm Coast High School according to Hale.

“We believe it is important for our high school students to get work-based experiences within our Palm Coast community,” shares Tim.

“We created an online portal for businesses and students to connect about opportunities such as company tours, internships, part-time jobs and to receive mentoring from adults in our community. This program drives economic and workforce development within Flagler County, as well as inspiring students to contribute their talents to their own communities,” he said.

Sara says it’s the conscious approach to cultivating a comprehensive work-life balance founded in a philosophy of being a good community partner that has earned Coastal Cloud recognition from Florida Trend Magazine as one of the Top 100 “Best Places to Work in Florida” in August 2020. This philosophy has also placed them at Number 6 on the Inc.com Editor’s List for “Best Places to Work.”

“Coastal Cloud’s responsibility to its employees and clients encourages individuals to enhance the lives of others. Our slogan, “Improving Business, Improving Lives” is the essence of what drives us. The Coastal Cloud Family takes this message to heart and brings it to their communities.”

For more information on the “Power of Us” program supporting nonprofits and high education, visit https://www.salesforce.org/power-of-us/

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