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robyn

What cracks me up is that Chase is raping and pillaging their credit card customers, all the while convincing the sheeple to participate in this their BIG charitable event.

Chase should be banned altogether.

Hildy Gottlieb

Beth:
Thank you for this post. The thing the corporate world simply doesn't get (ok, there are many things, but here's one) about both social media AND the community benefit / nonprofit arena is the combined expectation of transparency and consistency of walk and talk. KIVA faced this last month, manifesting itself in a different format, but with the same issues at the core.

I look forward to a time, likely still a few years down the road, when social media is no longer new but simply "the way we do things." It will be interesting to see what cultural changes this new and highly open way of communicating demands of us all.

Thanks again for starting the discussion!
Hildy

Joanne Fritz

Thanks for this summary of the issues, Beth. The behavior of Chase is disturbing and even more so for those of us who helped promote the contest in one way or another, assuming some basic best practices would be followed. It sounds like the CSR folks just did not think this through. I hope they respond to the issues you've so aptly raised.

Scarlett Swerdlow

Thank you, Beth, for drawing attention to this. I like Hildy's point too that social media isn't just a tactic, but a philosophy. I hope Chase comes clean and reverses any unfair disqualifications.

Wendy

Thank you for this Beth. We've had some confusion over this contest as well because they allowed one chapter to enter but not any others and we haven't been able to get any answers as to why - the original chapter entered didn't even do it themselves and the ones who wanted to enter weren't able to or were turned down. It's been really confusing.

Chris Jarvis

Excellent article as usual Beth. Great points and a timely discussion. I'm going to highlight it on our Facebook Page as a great example of a large corporation that seems to easily fumble the ball in the game of social media.

I can think of 20 people of the top of my head who could have offered some simple advice to avoid this kind of result.

Chris Jarvis
Senior Consultant, Realized Worth, Toronto, Canada 416-567-2004
Email me: [email protected]
Read our blog, Realizing Your Worth: realizedworth.blogspot.com
Follow me on Twitter: @RealizedWorth
Chris Jarvis works with businesses and Nonprofits to create outstanding Employee Volunteer Programs.

Mollyblock

Transparency's an important point, and it's great that social media continues to help to broaden the public's awareness of many non-profit organizations and their work. However, am I the only person who finds it a bit disconcerting that such significant fund amounts get awarded based on organizations' popularity, rather than other qualifications?

I'm eager to see how Pepsi harnesses social media -- and to what extent it manifests transparency -- in its upcoming cause-related marketing campaign.

Good post, Beth.

twitter.com/Sue_Anne

For large corporations, I definitely think the Target model is the way to go. They hand-picked the non-profits that they knew would give them good PR, but still used the social media model to get communities involved and create the needed buzz. Clorox did a good job in opening up their program to any charities but then having a panel of "experts" pick which organizations were eligible for the voting phase.

The Chase Giving program is going to turn into a great example of why transparency is so important when you are doing something like this on social media.

JForTheMoney

Beth, I join the others here with a thanks for the post. I didn't know about this issue before I saw you on my FB wall.

Giving charitably is so connected with the trust the donor has in the nonprofit to achieve its mission with the use of the donation. The 'fans' invested time in this effort, time searching for their npos, voting, promoting and asking others to vote, etc., myself included, even after reading the voting guidelines. Now I question whether my use of resources was really going to toward the mission of the contest to benefit nonprofits, or if I was pwned into adding my data into Chase's big dataset of suckers. So, if Chase was a nonprofit, I would not be making another gift. Chase appears to look at 'free' social media as transactional engagement method, but we all know that 'free' is never 'free.' Chase appears to have launched a pretty shady approach, in terms of ROI at least, on future social media events by way of treating the participants like they might make a difference. 'Cause I won't be back.

Jana Byington-Smith, [email protected]

Ed

THE bottom line:
"If they wanted to have some control over who received the money, why not just award the money through tradition methods?"

Because they want to ride "the next big thing in";
a Facebook Page where they can turn around and market
to a millions(?) people,
and the suits want to fix [only]their image
with 'this new social media stuff'.

Tom

Beth good article on the transparency piece. Also interesting about ACS. They went for it and asked for forgiveness rather than permission. Good for them.

Taking down the voting may have been a surprise, but many of the groups in that top 100 used it as a rallying point. For the weed people - you really think Chase wants to be associated with them? Talk about bad PR. Their money, they make the call.

For everyone who says Chase is the devil or they have wronged so many is just a bed-wetter. They did a good thing with this contest. They will have a tremendous impact on these organizations. Sure they have other motives, but what company doesn't any more when partnering with charities. That is why its called cause related marketing.

Beth Kanter

Tom,

Yes, they did a good thing with the contest - but should have avoided making rookie mistakes.

Steve

When I saw the contest quite frankly, I thought as a waste of time. I thought the organizations with the biggest support base will win- Similar to the American Express Members project. I also thought that the timing was off. It should've taken place in the Spring, not the Fall which is typically a big fundraising time for non profits. When you have limited attention for supporters' time, the last thing I wanted to do was ask my them to vote repeatedly when I'd rather continue educating them about our mission and asking them to keep us in mind for an end of the year donation.

http://www.twitter.com/stokedsteve

Allison Fine

Great post as usual, Beth!

I wrote about the Chase contest last week and totally missed the lack of a leaderboard. Not as an excuse, but as an explanation, I found the entire navigation of the contest so clunky and frustrating that I missed the leaderboard issue.

Transparency is the key here, as you say. And it's not just about the vote counting. As Hildy correctly mentions, the DNA of these corporations doesn't fit well with social media. I want someone there to stop out from behind the logo and talk about the contest and tell us what they're thinking.

Thanks again, for a great post!

M. Kaminsky

Great post! I was the winner in a charitable event once. Other participants insisted that I must have cheated or had some sort of "in". I can say with my whole heart-- that was not the case. With hard work, imagination, a clear understanding of the rules and a little luck, I won fair and square. There will always be those unhappy with the results. I choose to focus on the upside of things, it makes me a much happier person!

Of course, as with most things, Chase had challenges. They are hopefully learning from these challenges while distributing millions of dollars to charity (let me say it again, millions of dollars to charity). I appreciated the opportunity to be involved in Chase's giving process and wish all of the very worthy charities that were selected-- good luck!

Barbara Saunders

One positive thing - aside from the money - is that I learned about a bunch of great nonprofits I knew nothing about previously. So, whether or not these particular organizations get money from Chase, they may get support in the future from me or one of my 500 Facebook friends.

Bradweikel

One thing that I think has been missing from the discussion about the Chase contest is the individual human side - the fact that real NGO employees and supporters had the rug yanked out from under them.

Hardworking NGO staffers put substantial hours into the contest, believing that they had a chance to get a good ROI for their time. They crafted and deployed social media strategies; they mail-bombed their supporters, expending chunks of their precious social/network capital; and they probably had a rush of excitement as the contest end approached. Then they find that they never had a shot in the first place.

It's not just about transparency and best practices -- there's also the violation of basic human decency. A corporation shouldn't encourage people to work hard for a reward that they have no intention of actually granting.

I hope, at the least, some of the NGOs that got duped are able to rally their supporters a second time to send a message to Chase.

John Haydon

Ed - my thoughts exactly:
"Because they want to ride "the next big thing in";
a Facebook Page where they can turn around and market
to a millions(?) people"

Beth Kanter

I got an email from the American Cancer Society with a response:


Hi Beth,

I wanted to offer up an answer to a comment you posed in the "Charities Cry Foul" post from Saturday: "Very interesting to see the American Cancer Society on the list as its budget - according to a 2005 annual report linked on their Guidestar Profile is well over $10 million."

We were surprised to find ourselves on the list, too, considering that we didn't set up the page ourselves or promote the voting in any organized way -- that was all done person-to-person by our volunteers and some individual staff who saw the advertisement on their own Facebook profiles. We certainly considered ourselves ineligible based on the budget guidelines when we did first learn that our volunteers and supporters were taking action on our behalf. As best we can tell after being informed by Chase about our selection, the winning org is actually the New York City office of ACS, which does meet all of the guidelines laid out by Chase for the Community Giving contest. We're developing our "Big Idea" to fall within those same parameters, as a project to benefit the people served by that particular office.

However it happened, we're absolutely thrilled with the chance at a gift like this -- one million dollars can help us aid tens of thousands of people suffering with cancer.

Cheers,
Melissa


Melissa A. Lee
Division Director, eRevenue
American Cancer Society of NY & NJ

Changents

Great post, Beth. I figured you'd be all over this one:)

Agreed. It is difficult to refrain from critiquing Chase for adding rules 'on the fly' as the reality unfolded at Internet speed & failing to understand the basic transparency that leaderboards and such ensure... particularly given that American Express and others are available case studies.

That said, I am concerned about the overall CSR 2.0 fallout this may cause. Finally, we are a cross-roads where companies like Pepsi withdraw from Superbowl ads to focus on (hopefully legitimate) values marketing and Chase steps up with real cash or social currency to spotlight social change innovators on the Web. What do they get? Slammed. Yes, they deserve it in certain respects, but other companies that are poised to do good by doing well using social media may recoil.

And so, I think we need to provide constructive feedback to Chase but be cognizant that unleashing a full blown assault does not do anyone, any good. We need more this kind of bold experimentation as we head into 2010.

Thanks again for the post and all the smart comments that have followed. It's a good discussion. Now onward.

Deron Triff
CEO
www.changents.com

Beth Kanter

@deron: Thanks so much for your response.

Thanks for your comment. Happy Holidays

I wrote up some, what I hope was constructive feedback
http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2009/12/what-lessons-will-pespi-learn-about-crowdsourcing-for-social-good-from-chase-bank-contest-fail-.html

and even did some of the brand monitoring work they should be doing as a best practice
http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2009/12/should-online-contests-be-redesigned-or-just-go-away.html

Chase has a huge opportunity to take a thought leadership role in the discussion on online contests, doing well by doing good, best practices w/social media and cause marketing - but radio silence doesn't promote learning!

They could come out looking great if they acknowledge the feedback and use it to reshape/design the execution of phase 2 of their contest.

Your site looks really cool - I just finished a book and it had a chapter on free agent fundraisers/change agents - looks like your site is designed to facilitate that.

Beth

ArcherTC

Well said by Deron:
And so, I think we need to provide constructive feedback to Chase but be cognizant that unleashing a full blown assault does not do anyone, any good. We need more this kind of bold experimentation as we head into 2010.

There are books out there about the positive benefits of failure, so we can only hope that corporate giving programs do learn those best practices.

But, agreed, we must acknowledge that constructive criticism should be the hallmark of the giving community (not to be confused with righteous anger & activism over the more horrible parts of corporate behavior). There are people in offices working these things out. They are not perfect, their systems also fail, and we should choose our battles (certainly as carefully as we do our partners).

John

A Tale of Two Dirty Banks
(Boycott J.P. Morgan Chase & Bank of America)


J.P. Morgan Chase is the dirtiest, most corrupt, not only bank, but business in America. I would call them mafia, because they are a criminal enterprise, but I do not want to offend the mafia by putting them in the same category with this scumbag bank. I guess Jamie Dimon missed his ethics class at Harvard Business School. His company’s policies are a direct reflection of his character, and he is a scumbag dirty pig. I lost everything and I can’t even get a job because J.P. Morgan Chase destroyed my credit by dragging out the short sale/foreclosure process for over a year. And to pour salt in the wound, my mortgage has PMI insurance, which means the bank doesn’t lose. I have been turned down for two jobs because of my credit and also that H.R. Bill 3149 has not passed yet………I lay in bed contemplating suicide while J.P. Morgan Chase writes out billions in employee bonus checks.
My nightmare with Jamie Pig Morgan Chase Bank………….
After being laid off, I could no longer afford my mortgage payment. I did not want a foreclosure to occur so I tried to do the right thing and located a realtor and an attorney to work with to help facilitate a short sale. I have brought three different buyers to the lenders. These buyers were pre-approved and ready to close. Every time we got close to closing, the lenders would kill the deal. They should be on their knees, kissing my ass, thanking me for finding them even one buyer in this horrible economy and even worse real estate sector, let alone three. J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America have lied, manipulated, and jerked us around for over a year. These two scumbag, lying, dirty banks make my skin crawl and make me want to vomit my stomach contents. One bank representative even told me that “They were going to ruin my credit and destroy my life for putting them in this position.” I put them in this position????? I had an 804 FICO Score before I was laid off. I had a 30 year low rate fixed mortgage. I did everything right. These criminals, who should be in prison for their fraudulent activities, now get 7$$$$$$$$ figure bonuses as rewards. Not to forget, these criminals had their hat-in-hand begging the government for a handout of billions of yours and mine tax dollars. Let’s have a brief history listen. The bulge bracket firms on Wall Street are the DIRECT CAUSE of the great recession. They are the ones who bought the crap sub-prime loans, replenished the coffers of fly by night lenders, sliced and diced them, re-named and re-packaged them as Mortgage Backed Securities, coerced and blackmailed the ratings agencies to give them triple AAA credit ratings, and then sold these garbage investment vehicles around the world knowing full well the whole time this was a scam. These banks perpetrated the largest fraud known to mankind. They systemically brought down not only the U.S. economy but also the global economy. Countries such as Iceland have collapsed because they believed the lies that the thieves on Wall Street fed them and over levered themselves to buy RMBS investments. And now that the real estate bubble has collapsed, and these thieves cannot milk anymore revenue from the RMBS fraud, they are trying to create revenue on the backside by destroying the middle class and people’s lives, including mine. I have lost everything. I am three months from being homeless and living in my truck. I don’t have a ten million dollar mansion like Richard Fuld (Former Lehman Brothers CEO) to go home to, hundreds of millions of dollars in savings, or a private jet to fly me home to my estate in Chicago from NYC , every weekend, like Jamie Dimon. The only way an individual can let their anger known is by exercising freedom of choice. BOYCOTT these scumbag criminal organizations masquerading as banks and take your business elsewhere. They are a disgrace to America.

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