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Monday, December 21, 2009

Charities Criticize Online Fund Raising Contest by Chase

JP Morgan Chase & Company have been scrutinized regarding their charity practices. Chase held an online contest to award millions of dollars to 100 different charities, the charities with the most online votes would be chosen to receive funding. At least three different charities believe that they were disqualified from the contest based on their mission and the views. The charities Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Marijuana Policy Project, and Justice for All hold that JP Morgan Chase & Company have acted unethically. What is interesting is that all three of these organizations were receiving a substantial amount of votes before Chase stonewalled them from the contest; according to the New York Times, "Three days before the contest ended, Chase stopped giving participants access to voting information, and it has not made public the vote tallies of the winners". Charities criticize online fund raising contest by Chase because they didn't support the charities cause.

Online contests are a relatively new phenomena; social marketing websites such as Twitter and Facebook have become very popular for companies and non-profits to hold fund raisers. "The Chase Community Giving contest is one of the largest ever mounted, open to more than a half-million charities. More than a million people signed onto Chase’s fan page, where they were awarded 20 votes to cast for the charities of their choice", reports the New York Times. Chase has been vague about why they made changes so late in the contest, what is clear is that Chase reminded everyone of their right to disqualify any participant. Chase set up no formal leader boards to show contestants where they stood; however, certain charities created their own and the results show that all the disqualified charities where doing very well in the contest.

Whatever the case may actually be, certain charities were cheated by Chase and discrimination is apparent. "Mr. Lee, a veteran of these types of contests, said the changes Chase made on Dec. 9 had made it much more difficult to continue attracting votes. After the changes, would-be supporters of Justice for All called and e-mailed to say they could not get their votes to go through", according to the New York Times. I am sure we have not heard the last of this; Chase's ethics will surely be put into question more as facts continue to surface. Online fund raising may come into question all together.

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