Once again, the power of technology is being used to save lives. Only, this time it's not a new drug from a Biopharmaceutical company, it's a bunch of virtual seeds, used to help a new hospital grow.
San Francisco social gaming powerhouse Zynga just announced a plan to take sales of Candy Cane seeds from its wildly popular "Farmville" game and donate proceeds to the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. This is the wing of UCSF we wrote about earlier, getting a huge early boost from a 100 million dollar gift from Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff. Turns out, the tech-related giving didn't stop with Mr. Benioff.
Zynga, which sells virtual goods within its games, has in the past used some of the proceeds from such sales to raise millions of dollars for Haitian relief. Unlike other fundraising efforts, though, Zynga says this time around it will not merely donate a portion of the proceeds - it will throw the whole pot towards the UCSF hospital.
Other social networking companies have gotten involved in the effort to help the new UCSF Children's wing - Let us also take a moment to salute our fellow Tech journalists at TechCrunch, also raising awareness to the project. It's very much like what we've seen in recent years at local foodbanks - one company jumps in to help, and in the process sends out a challenge to others to do the same. Social fundraising? Could be the next wave of philanthropy.
Fittingly, it starts with seeds.
Scott thinks this Zynga thing could really catch on. He's on Twitter @scottbudman