No, Zynga did not keep 50% of its Haiti earthquake relief donations

NOTE: GrowthBeat tickets go up $200 this Friday at 5pm Pacific. VentureBeat is gathering the best and brightest in modern digital marketing to help declutter the landscape, simplify the functions, clarify the goals, and point the way to success. Get the full scoop here, and register by Friday to save!

Social games publisher Zynga has confirmed with us that it did not keep 50 percent of its earthquake relief donations meant for Haiti. The response follows a post from SocialMediaToday this morning (which has since been removed, but you can view a screenshot here) that claimed  Zynga kept half of its donations meant to help the earthquake-ravaged country.

Zynga tells us that SMT’s source, the Brazilian site Folha Online, confused the post-quake relief campaign with a 2009 funding campaign for Haiti. In that earlier campaign, Farmville players were made aware that 50 percent of their donations would be going towards helping children in Haiti. Zynga raised a total of $2.4 million with that campaign, and Haiti received $1.2 million of that via the organizations FATEM.org and fonkoze.org.

After the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the country in January, Zynga ran a separate relief campaign which raised $1.5 million over five days. One hundred percent of those proceeds went to the World Food Programme to help Haitian earthquake victims.

Many are probably quick to blame Zynga after the company’s use of shady “offers” caused a firestorm in the blogosphere last November. Zynga dropped the offers in question, and brought back a revamped version with tighter controls in January.


We're studying digital marketing compensation: how much companies pay CMOs, CDOs, VPs of marketing, and more, with ChiefDigitalOfficer. Help us out by filling out the survey, and we'll share the results with you.