Friday, January 22, 2010

Chase Crowdsources Non-Profit Donations to Facebook Users

Today is the last day of the second round of Chase Community Giveaway Campaign on Facebook. Chase Financial Services – a giant financial conglomerate, started a community giveaway campaign on Facebook in November last year. As part of the campaign, Chase would give away $5 million to charities. The voting ends today and soon enough the top charity, which will receive $1 million, will be announced.

Chase launched the campaign as a Facebook application which contained a list of 500,000 nonprofit organizations. The bank then crowd sourced the selection of the charities to Facebook users. In the first round, which ended on Dec 11, 2009, the top 100 charities (selected by users) won $25,000 each and advanced into the second round. The second round lasted this entire week and would determine which charity would get the top price of $1 million. The five runners-up in the second and last round will also each receive $100,000.

More than 1.7 million Facebook users participated in the first round to vote and vouch for their favorite non-profit organizations. These numbers, however have dropped to around 1.5 million users in the second round – but that might be due to the elimination of a large number of organizations in the first round.

The idea to crowd source philanthropic donations is not new and was first initiated by American Express in 2007. Back in those days, Digg and Reddit were the frontrunners in institutionalizing the concepts of crowd sourcing news discovery and editorial. American Express borrowed the crowd sourcing concepts from these social news sites and launched the Members Project – which donated $5 million to charities selected by AmEx card members.
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