Voting for Good: Crowdsourced Philanthropy

Aug 29, 2012 6:30 PM ET
Photo Credit: Chase Community Giving

By Kate Olsen and Allison McGuire 

What is crowdsourced philanthropy? These cause-marketing initiatives democratize the corporate grantmaking process by allowing both customers and employees to weigh in on where philanthropic dollars should be spent.    

What are 3 common campaign elements?

  • Large grants allocated across several charities according to public input. 
  • Public voting period with participation predicated on becoming a member of a brand community. 
  • Social sharing and digital engagement via status updates and video content. 

Examples of crowdsourced philanthropy done right:

JPMorgan Chase ‘Chase Community Giving’: Each year, Chase asks customers and employees to nominate charities to be eligible to receive a portion of $5 million in grant funding to be allocated according to Facebook Fan voting.  ‘Chase Community Giving’, now in its fifth season, has become a hallmark crowdsourced philanthropy program, having recruited 3.5 million Fans to help award more than $20 million in grants to over 500 charities. 

PepsiCo ‘Pepsi Refresh Project’: Pepsi made a big splash by pulling a $20 million ad spend for the Super Bowl and reallocating the funds to allow consumers to propose ideas for making the world a better place, letting America vote on which ones should be funded. 

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