For the fourth year in a row, Chase is giving away millions of dollars in grant money to qualified charities and letting Chase customers and Facebook users determine who gets the funds. Voting started last week and will continue for only a short time. The window for voting closes on September 19, 2012, so anyone who would like to support their favorite local charity should hurry and cast their votes before the deadline.
Chase Community Giving was launched in 2009 as an innovative way for Chase to give back to the communities it serves, using social media to let customers vote on which charities will receive a piece of Chase’s $5 million grant pie. Chase customers and employees nominated 30,000 charities over the summer, and from that pool, Facebook users and Chase customers now have the opportunity to choose who will receive the grant money.
Who Votes and How
Chase customers who are registered online with their Chase accounts can go to www.ChaseGiving.com where they will get two votes to use toward their chosen charities, using only one vote per charity. Facebook users must “like” the Chase Community Giving page to get their two votes, and can get a bonus third vote by sharing the link on Twitter.
In previous years, Facebook users got ten different votes to cast, but unlike this year’s Chase: Mission Small Business grant contest, Chase Community Giving is limiting the number of votes a user can cast this year. In the Mission Small Business contest Facebook users could vote for as many businesses as they wanted, but only once each.
Splitting up the Pie
The top vote-getting charity will receive $250,000, and the next ten runners-up will get grants of $10,000 each. After that, the next 35 vote-getters will receive $50,000, the 50 after that get $20,000 each, and the remaining 100 charities (out of 196 total) will receive $10,000.
All chosen charities are registered 501(c)(3) public charities with yearly operating expenses of less than $10 million.
Early Vote Leaders
Top vote-getters after the first two days of voting were HeNN (Help Nepal Network), a Brooklyn nonprofit dedicated to improving health and education in Nepal, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which supports wildlife and the environment, and the Bill Memorial Foundation, an animal rescue organization. With thousands of new votes pouring in daily, the top three spots will likely change rapidly and it will be down to the wire to see who gets the top prize. Current favorite charities are animals and the environment.
Giving all Year Long
Chase is one of the largest philanthropic businesses in the country, giving more than $150 million each year to charity. In 2011 they gave over $200 million total in charitable contributions. Kimberly B. Davis, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, says in a press release, “At Chase, we are excited to lead local and national causes in finding a voice and raising awareness and critical funding for their work in communities.” Of the Chase Community Giving program, she said, “Voting with Chase Community Giving helps to energize the vast number of supporters of so many great causes.”