By Kate Vidinsky
Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, officially announced the $100 million philanthropic gift he and his wife Lynne have pledged to UCSF Children’s Hospital at a June 22 technology industry event in San Jose.
The gift will help fund the construction of the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital at Mission Bay, part of a 289-bed integrated hospital complex for children, women and cancer patients scheduled to break ground this year.
Several UCSF campus and medical center leaders attended the keynote session of the salesforce.com Cloudforce 2010 customer and developer conference at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, during which Benioff discussed his longtime passion for corporate and personal philanthropy.
He explained how salesforce.com was built upon a foundation of social responsibility and how the Salesforce.com Foundation pioneered a unique integrated corporate philanthropy model, where one percent of the company’s time; one percent of its product; and one percent of its equity are given back to the community.
Benioff then announced his family’s collaboration with UCSF and spoke about his commitment to the children’s hospital.
“Over the years I’ve tried to be as generous as possible personally, and I am so excited about this initiative to build a brand new children’s hospital at Mission Bay,” he said, before inviting UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, on stage to articulate the impact of the gift.
“Let me just say that Marc and Lynne Benioff are complete heroes. This gift is transformative,” Desmond-Hellmann said. “The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital will be the heart and soul of the new UCSF Mission Bay hospitals complex.”
Making an Impact
Desmond-Hellmann and Benioff encouraged the crowd to get involved with the project by submitting ideas for the new hospital on the recently launched UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Ideas website.
“I know that with all of the creativity and inspiration we have in this room, we can come together to create the premier children’s hospital in the world,” Benioff added.
Following the keynote session, Benioff hosted an informal lunch gathering for several technology company executives, as well as Chancellor Desmond-Hellmann, UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret and UCSF School of Medicine Dean Sam Hawgood, MBBS. Attendees participated in a question-and-answer session about the new Salesforce Chatter computer application, and Benioff called upon Laret to offer some final remarks about the hospital project.
“What Marc and Lynne Benioff are enabling us to do is build a facility for the modern era of health care,” Laret said.
The Benioffs’ historic donation is both the largest gift the donors have ever made and the largest gift ever granted specifically to the children’s hospital. It is the fourth largest philanthropic gift in UCSF’s history.
In a blog in the Wall Street Journal, Benioff explained his ongoing support of UCSF:
“The Salesforce.com Foundation will continue to support local and global nonprofits with technology innovation and efficiencies, provide consistent volunteer support, and award grants to the most deserving organizations,” he wrote. “However, Lynne and I will transform our own philanthropic efforts from supporting a wide variety of organizations to concentrating on just one. We will give exclusively to UCSF Children’s Hospital, which has the research base for the next generation of discoveries, a commitment to advancing health worldwide, and a focus on every child, regardless of resources. This is where we believe our time and resources will make the most impact in the next decade and beyond.”
Website Seeks Ideas for New UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
UCSF Today, June 23, 2010
UCSF to Get $100 Million for New Hospital
Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2010
Benioff’s Philanthropic Shift, In His Own Words
WSJ Blogs, June 17, 2010