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Beth, thanks so much for the insightful post. What bothers me most about Chase's donation program is their own lack of communication about their choices. Makes it seem that they're giving away the money purely for brand image (of course their radio-silence describing their choices only supports this). 1.5 million dollars is, of course, alot of money, but Chase's contest methodology definitely involves a of thinking that turned pretty ugly on the non-profits behalf. So many non-profits do such great work. Without knowing the contest winners' work that well(even if they were accused of fraud), just looking at their mission -- money towards any of those nominated would be a great thing. But, when it becomes a competition of which cause is better than the other -- the competition wins. Not the cause. Somehow integrity ends up being for sale, which is a horrible outcome. Two rounds definitely would make the competition and less cutthroat and still take advantage of the crowd sourcing aspect. The 2nd round though shouldn't be left to the masses. Either let the non-profits vote amongst themselves of get a panel of experts whose decision can be transparent.
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Jan 23, 2010