Facebook users playing Zynga games have donated more than $1.5 million over just the past five days to aid the Haitian relief effort. About 300,00 users from 47 countries have purchased enough limited edition virtual goods via Zynga's top four games on Facebook--FarmVille, FishVille, Mafia Wars and Zynga Poker--to make this massive contribution to the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP).
FarmVille users alone donated $1 million.
"Through their donations, Zynga players are helping us to bring urgently needed food assistance to people who have been plunged into hunger by this devastating earthquake," said Nancy Roman, WFP director of communications. "We started distributing food within 24 hours of the earthquake, and in the coming weeks, we aim to deliver weekly rations to 2 million people."
Zynga had run a similar effort in 2009 called Sweet Seeds for Haiti, in which users raised $1.2 million to bring school lunches to Haitian children. In that program, just 50% of profits from limited edition virtual good sales went towards the effort.
Reports say that the social gaming company, whose games see 227 million monthly active users, had reached upwards of $200 million in 2009 revenue. If revenues on the limited edition virtual goods were to be annualized, Zynga would be making at least $109 million annually, according to Business Insider.
The donations program is still on-going, but already Zynga has once again demonstrated the power social networking has in bringing people together for causes.