Zynga, the biggest social game publisher, has been criticized for copying the games of others. But when it comes to generating donations for nonprofits in a social fashion, it’s a leader.
Today, the company announced that Zynga game players have raised more than $130,000 for two charities through virtual goods purchases. Mark Pincus, chief executive of Zynga, said a couple of days ago at the Inside Social Apps conference, “I don’t think enough of you have copied it.”
Thousands of Zynga users participated in two separate five-day promotions last month to raised money for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, which supports research for a rare neurological disorder that affects one in 10,000 people, and Water.org, a nonprofit founded by Gary White and Matt Damon to bring safe drinking water to developing nations.
More than 24,000 Mafia Wars fans bought a virtual teddy bear to promote awareness for Huntington’s Disease. And thousands of FisVille players bought nearly 70,000 limited edition fish to raise $13,000 for Water.org. The funds will be used to benefit safe water projects in earthquake-hit Haiti. To date, Zynga players have raised $3 million for social causes associated with Zynga.org. It turns out that giving is a lot easier when it happens in the context of fun and is as easy as clicking an icon.
People: mark pincus