Silicon Valley Billionaire Donates $100 Million to Hospital

Salesforce CEO Benioff: Looking for "impact"

By Scott Budman
|  Friday, Jun 18, 2010  |  Updated 11:12 AM PDT
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Asa Mathat

Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff starting a new children's hospital.

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On the heels of Bill Gates throwing down the gauntlet to his fellow billionaires to give, and give big, a Silicon Valley billionaire is doing just that. Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce.com, says he'll donate $100 million to UCSF to go toward a new children's hospital.

The hospital, which will be named UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, will have more beds than the current building, as well as an on-site helipad to help critically ill children get fast care. It's the largest donation ever granted to the hospital, and according to UCSF executives, and comes at a time when budget cuts have forced them to struggle.

It also comes at a time when the very wealthy are rethinking philanthropy -- Benioff among them. The CEO says he now plans to give away the majority of his fortune during his lifetime. This echoes statements made by the likes of Gates and super-investor Warren Buffett.

The recent recession has hit businesses and individuals, cutting into charitable giving.  By encouraging the wealthy to give, tech executives like Gates and Benioff just might send the industry down a very different path than it's been known for: The path to major, life-changing philanthropy.

Just think about it. A legacy for the ever-changing tech industry.

Even as tech-watchers admit it's still a relatively young industry with lots of growing left, it has already made a lot of people very rich. If those people start to donate now, on the scale of what we've just heard from Marc Benioff, and promise to continue to do so, the tech industry will be forever known for more than innovation and cool products. It will be an industry known for helping the world around it, as well.

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