By K. Kimberly McCleary, President & CEO
Chase Community Giving was introduced in 2009 as a new way forward for corporate giving. This program lets Facebook “fans” of Chase Community Giving vote to help determine where Chase donates millions of dollars. In total, millions of people have helped Chase donate $10 million to 300 winning charities in 35 states.
The Solve ME/CFS Initiative was 23rd among the top 100 organizations in the first round of Chase’s spring 2011 challenge and won $25,000 – thanks to your support! Our strong finish means we are now eligible to compete for cash prizes totaling $2.5 million in Round 2 and we want your vote! The top prize is $500,000. All prize money received by the Association will support research into more effective diagnostics and treatments for CFS, as described below in the “BIG IDEA.”
Round 2 voting began on May 19 and closes at 11:59 PM (Eastern time) on May 25, 2011. Prize money is awarded based on the number of votes each of the 100 charities gets from its supporters. There are also some awards made by Chase’s Advisory Board based on the merits of a charity’s BIG IDEA. We are competing for both.
Everyone who becomes a part of (“likes”) Chase Community Giving on Facebook gets 5 votes. You can vote for each eligible charity only once, although you can get your friends to rally behind your favorites by sharing them through Facebook. (The contest is only accessible through Facebook.)
Beginning May 19, you can cast your vote for the Solve ME/CFS Initiative . We’ll post reminders on Facebook and CFIDSLink and will update you on our position on the leader board. Please cast one of your 5 votes for the Solve ME/CFS Initiative and encourage all your Facebook friends to do the same!
- Using your Facebook account, go to Chase Giving Community: http://www.facebook.com/ChaseCommunityGiving and “Like” the Chase Giving Community by clicking on the “Like” button. (If you voted in Round 1, you can skip this step.)
- Now go to the Solve ME/CFS Initiative’s Chase Giving page at http://bit.ly/eKvtwh or “search” for “CFIDS Association.”
- Cast your vote by clicking the “Vote Now!” button. (You have to “allow” Chase Giving to access your account info in order for your vote to count. This enables them to keep track of the voting under the “one vote per charity” rule.)
- Search other eligible organizations for whom you want to vote, up to 5 per Facebook account. (Only charities with an annual budget of $1-10 million that were in the top 100 in Round 1 are eligible for prize money in Round 2.)
You can also go to our Facebook page and use the “share” button to post reminders/instructions to your own facebook page.
Charities competing in Round 2 were required to provide Chase with a “BIG IDEA” describing how it would use the prize money (in 150 words or less). Here is our BIG IDEA:
In spite of its silly-sounding name, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is as disabling as cancer, multiple sclerosis and late HIV disease. As many as 17 million children and adults around the world have CFS, and we still don’t understand its causes. To end the suffering CFS inflicts, the Solve ME/CFS Initiative is building a critical mass of rigorous research that validates the biological basis for CFS and leads to better ways to diagnose and treat it. We’re putting research first to achieve the vision of a future in which the life-altering disability, stigma and isolation of CFS no longer exist. Your vote will help us award grants to support new research studies exploring diagnostics and treatments; expand our SolveCFS BioBank with more samples and clinical information on patients and healthy volunteers; and build a data-sharing platform to help researchers aggregate and analyze information using powerful bioinformatics tools. Based in Charlotte, NC, our work has worldwide impact.
Other CFS organizations competing in Round 2: We encourage you to support the Whittemore Peterson Institute so that the maximum prize money supports CFS-related activities.
Prizes will be awarded as follows:
- The eligible charity receiving the most votes will be awarded $500,000.
- The second place winner will be awarded $400,000.
- The third place winner will be awarded $300,000.
- Eligible vote-getters in 4th and 5th place will be awarded $200,000 each.
- 6th through 10th place charities will be awarded $100,000 each.
- Winners in 11th through 15th place will be awarded $40,000 each.
- The remaining 10 eligible charities will be awarded $20,000 each.
- The Chase Advisory Board will grant $200,000 to a charity in the Top 100 based on their Big Idea.
- At the Chase Advisory Board’s discretion, $300,000 will be distributed in varying amounts among other selected charities in the Top 100.
We recognize that there are objections to participating in social networking sites like Facebook, and that even people who use Facebook have misgivings about letting companies (like Chase) access their account information, as is required to vote in this contest. However, for those who are comfortable with participating, we hope you will vote and share the information with others. We are joining with other organizations locally and on Facebook to promote CFS, our cause and the contest, so the yield may be greater than the prize money alone!
K. Kimberly McCleary has served as the Association’s chief staff executive since 1991.May 19, 2011