by Tonie Hansen

Partnering with our ecosystem (of customers, end users and partners) is one of the best ways for the NVIDIA Foundation to magnify the impact it has in the community. Not only do we get to work side-by-side with companies like Adobe and Microsoft on projects , but we get to have a lot of fun with some of our end users, whether it’s hard core gamers or super creative types. How do we get them to engage? Our marketing team has become pretty clever at fundraising, case in point:

Image of beautiful woman + promise of alcoholic beverages = great turnout for charity pub crawl.  This may sound a little unorthodox given we’re talking about charity, but if you’re in the Big Easy for a conference with temptation all around, sometimes a little extra persuasion is needed.  Happy to say it worked. Our SIGGRAPH marketing team, accompanied by a big band, led over 500 NVIDIA fans from the SIGGRAPH conference down New Orleans’s Bourbon Street for a night of revelry (see pic below).  Great email from the streets (very late NoLo time):

SIGGRAPH attendees on Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street was glowing NVIDIA green – people were everywhere with our beads & glow badges. My favorite was every band on stage had blinking NVIDIA beads! I think everyone would say NVIDIA rocked and ruled Bourbon Street.”

Partygoers paid a $5 cover to get into one of three clubs, and in only a few hours we raised $2,500. NVIDIA Quadro Business Solutions matched that, and the Foundation doubled down for a total $10,000 donation to Algiers Technology Academy in New Orleans, the community partner of this year’s SIGGRAPH.  We joined our customers (Disney, DreamWorks and Autodesk) to create a Graphics Lab at the high school and to inspire the next generation of creative geniuses (see some of them below).

Algiers Technology Academy in New Orleans

Because we’re an environmentally aware company, we’re thinking of recycling the charity pub crawl for our own GPU Technology Conference in September.  Hope you’ll join us.

Here’s another example of how our marketing team tempts audiences into giving:

“You, GPU Gaming God, have the power inside your computer to crush and destroy several virulent diseases, join us for this important task.”

This was last week’s message for the Quakecon Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) event. Our gaming fans are some of the most passionate about giving back so we find new ways to challenge them each year. Our goal for ‘09 was to get the gamers to download and run a great application called Folding@Home, which uses your available GPU bandwidth to run scientific calculations related to finding cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer.  

The NVIDIA Foundation donated $1,000 to the Folding@Home organization for each 1,000 work units of calculations completed by Quakecon attendees. Our gamers did not disappoint – they completed over 2,000 work units, for a $2,000 donation which will go to further disease research.