A few years ago I made a pronouncement on a social media panel that digital goods would redefine the way we do charitable giving online. Needless to say, there were snickers. After all, how could "throwing a beer" at someone or giving someone a "fluffy kitty" for their birthday really amount to anything, especially at a $1 price point?
But now, thanks to Zynga, I can safely say my pronouncement has been confirmed. After writing the article last month on digital farming, I checked in with Farmville creator Mark Pincus and he said that to date virtual farmers had purchased $700,000 worth of "Sweet Corn" seeds, the proceeds of which go to feed children in poverty-stricken Haiti.
As someone who helps nonprofits create online funding campaigns, this is a Moses-parting-the-seas kind of success which just a year ago would have been almost impossible to imagine. It will be interesting to see where Zynga goes from here. There is no doubt a new philanthropic wellspring has been located!
If you haven't purchased your sweet corn yet, Nov. 30 is the last day to do so. Learn more about Sweet Seeds for Change on Facebook.