UCSF's Challenge for the Children raises over $1 million
Just days ago, we marked the end of the Challenge for the Children -- our unprecedented social media-based fundraising contest for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital that won the support of prominent Silicon Valley companies, tech industry executives, many other celebrities, and thousands of additional community members.
An idea generated by UCSF Foundation Board of Directors members Lynne Benioff and Ron Conway, this remarkable Challenge was supported by over 165,000 people, who raised more than $1 million for the new hospital -- ten times the amount of our initial $100,000 fundraising goal.
The eight-week fundraising competition in collaboration with Causes.com, the online fundraising platform, reached out through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, encouraging people to contribute as individuals or become team leaders in support of the children’s hospital. Teams competed for various prizes, including the naming of a prominent space in the new hospital.
First place went to team Zynga, which raised $805,554 through 161,196 individual donations. The social gaming company built a special integration into its wildly popular game FarmVille, in which players purchased candy cane seeds for their virtual farms, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Challenge.
The second place team was led by 12-year-old Paddy O’Brien, a patient at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital treated successfully for bone cancer and now in remission. His team inspired 423 donations totaling $12,230.
Both the Zynga and Paddy O’Brien teams will have the honor of naming a dedicated space in the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital at Mission Bay, which will set a new standard for patient- and family-centered health care, safety, sustainability and translational medicine upon its completion in 2014. This December, construction began on this incredible new hospital complex, which will also house hospitals for women and cancer patients.
It’s not too late to show your support for the Challenge and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital -- go to www.causes.com/ucsfchallenge and donate today.
Through this Challenge and in so many other ways, I am inspired by the compassion of all those who support UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital -- one of the foremost pediatric healing centers in the world. On behalf of the children’s hospital, our young patients, and their loved ones, thank you for helping us make an even greater impact on children’s health care.
Mark R. Laret
Chief Executive Officer
UCSF Medical Center
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital