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Washington, D.C. — Today, shareholder activists with the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) will present proposals at two shareholder meetings, Dell and Salesforce. They will criticize Dell for contributing charitable donations to extreme left-wing LGBTQ groups and Salesforce for threatening to deny or restrict service to users based on viewpoint or ideology. Both policies pose significant risk to shareholder value.

Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard

FEP Director Scott Shepard will present Proposal 4 at the Dell meeting, requesting that the board of directors list on Dell’s website any recipient of material donations from the company. Optimally, this list would include all recipients of $5,000 or more, or would include an explanation of why such donations are not material to the company but still appropriate for the company to undertake.

“Dell is a technology company that designs, manufactures and sells computer hardware and software products. As such, shareholders invest in Dell because of its value as a leading technology company, and the board’s fiduciary duty requires it to create value for shareholders by serving that fundamental purpose,” notes FEP in its supporting statement, adding:

Dell has partnerships with a number of organizations that promote the practice of gender transition surgeries on minors and evangelize gender theory to minors. Why are Dell shareholders funding the efforts to spread a radical, divisive ideology?

Proponents of gender theory claim that children are sexually mature enough to make permanent decisions such as taking puberty blockers and undergoing gender transition surgeries. However, most people (which includes Dell shareholders) understand that children are not sexual beings and that there is a reason why minors cannot consent to sexual activity.

This contentious and vast disagreement between radical gender theory activists and the general public has nothing to do with Dell making and selling computer products. Yet, Dell is partnered with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), GenderCool Project and Texas Competes — all of which advocate deeply unpopular and extreme positions arising from radical gender theory that endanger children, wreck decades of progress for girls and women in sports and undermine parents’ relationships with their children.

The burden of proof is on the Board to explain why this particularly divisive and unordinary use of shareholder resources is deemed to be congruent with its fiduciary duty. Recent events have made clear that company bottom-lines, and therefore value to shareholders, drop when companies engage in overtly political and divisive partnerships. Following Bud Light’s embrace of partisanship, its revenue fell $395 million in North America compared to a year prior. This amounts to roughly 10 percent of its revenue in the months following its leap into contentious politics. Target’s market cap fell over $15 billion amid backlash for similar actions. And Disney stock fell 44 percent in 2022 — its worst performance in nearly 50 years — amid its decision to put extreme partisan agendas ahead of parents’ rights.

Considering that Dell is partnered with numerous radical organizations that advance the very agenda that so disastrously affected Disney, Target and Bud Light, such partnerships pose a clear risk to Dell shareholders as well.

Ethan Peck

Ethan Peck

At Salesforce’s shareholder meeting, FEP Associate Ethan Peck will present Proposal 8, which requests that the board of directors issue a report evaluating how Salesforce oversees risks related to denying or restricting service to customers due to their viewpoints being classified as “hate speech” or “misinformation,” and how such risks impact both the company’s business and the constitutionally protected civil rights of users or customers.

“Digital service providers (DSPs) such as Salesforce control access to critical computer and web-related services and infrastructure that facilitate the open exchange of information. As such, these companies have unprecedented power to censor speech, and have been under increasing pressure to remove religious and conservative views from the marketplace,” notes FEP in its supporting statement, adding:

Respecting freedom of speech and religious liberty is fundamental to the open and fair discourse necessary for self-governance. Salesforce can and should promote these fundamental freedoms to best serve its diverse users and participate in the market to the best of its ability, an effort it legally owes its shareholders.

Recent events and DSPs’ own policies suggest that users’ and customers’ freedom of speech and religion are at risk. In addition to concerning revelations of collusion with government at companies like Meta and Twitter to censor constitutionally protected speech, the 2023 edition of the Viewpoint Diversity Business Index found that 74% of the largest DSPs have policies that permit them to deny or restrict service based on subjective and vague terms like “misinformation,” “hate speech,” “intolerance” or “reputational risk.” In an Orwellian fashion, these arbitrary standards are exploited by tech companies — often under pressure from activists, the US government and foreign governments — to censor conservative and religious users.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff threatened to withdraw the company from conservative states — which is most states — for “the equality and dignity of every human being.” The company also refused to assure shareholders that employees would not be discriminated against for viewpoint or ideology, when asked about it explicitly at a shareholder meeting.

And while Salesforce has fully engaged in viewpoint discrimination, it also maintains that it promotes an “inclusive workplace” and is “committed to driving equality for employees, customers, partners, and society at large.” Shareholders must ensure that Salesforce is adhering to its own standards and the standards of the U.S. Constitution by serving diverse customers without regard to their political views or religious beliefs.

When Salesforce engages in viewpoint discrimination, it exposes itself to heightened legal liability for both hindering access of certain Americans to the marketplace — which undermines constitutionally protected freedoms — and for prioritizing ideology over sound business practices, thereby failing to abide by its fiduciary duty to shareholders.

More information about these proposals, as well as other key votes, can be found in FEP’s mobile and web app, ProxyNavigator.



The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Contributions are tax-deductible and may be earmarked for the Free Enterprise Project. Sign up for email updates at

Follow us on Twitter at @FreeEntProject and @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

Author: The National Center