Bank nets 2 million Facebook fans with charity giveaway
Two million people have become Facebook Fans of a US bank’s Community Giving initiative in order to vote on how a total of US$5m in donations should be donated to different charities.
The Chase initiative started in November last year. Chase ‘fans’ who had signed up to the Facebook page were given 20 votes to distribute among 500,000 eligible charities. The 100 charities with the most votes were declared finalists and moved into a second round.
At the end of the second round early this year, the winner was awarded US$1m; five runner-ups received $100,000 each; and 100 finalists received $25,000 each. The winning charity, Invisible Children, received more than 100,000 votes as did second place Isha Foundation.
The initiative had an advisory board consisting of celebrities and Chase executives, as well as Facebook VP of communications Elliot Schrage.
The popularity of the contest has proved something of a social networking coup for Chase, but has also demonstrated some of the pitfalls of the medium.
With less than 1,200 votes separating the two leading charities, and with $900,000 at stake, there were accusations of voter fraud. Future contests will are likely to give the bank greater opportunity to declare a tie and to split the pot equitably.