SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chase and Facebook® today announced five California charities selected to receive major grants after the final round of Chase Community Giving, Chase celebrated in San Diego today with more than 70 staff members and student volunteers from local charity Invisible Children, which helps abducted child soldiers in Africa return to a more normal life. Facebook Fans selected the charity to receive top honors and a $1 million grant from Chase, while other winners in the state were selected by the Chase Community Giving Advisory Board.
Chase Community Giving, a grassroots campaign launched November 16 to inspire a new way of corporate philanthropy, allowed Facebook’s 350 million users to chose from more than 500,000 of their favorite small and local charities and to vote for them to win their share of Chase’s philanthropy dollars.
“This is a real victory for the motivated youth that have rallied behind us. Our margin of victory was so small, every single vote mattered, every phone call and personal message. Our interns and supporters across the world went without sleep and pulled out every stop to support us. We have learned that energy abounds when working toward something you love. And we love our friends in Northern Uganda,” said Invisible Children co-founder Laren Poole. “Chase Community Giving has given us an unprecedented opportunity to pursue peace and a future with them.”
Chase announced its final list of small and local charities receiving a total of more than $5 million in grants through the online charity initiative. Chase is giving major grants to the top 6 charities receiving the most votes from Facebook users in the final round of Chase Community Giving, including two California charities:
Invisible Children of San Diego will receive a $1 million grant, and works through the support of U.S. high school and college students to advocate for the rescue of children in central Africa who have been kidnapped from their homes and forced to serve as soldiers in a civil war in Uganda. More than 30,000 children have been abducted to become both the weapons and the victims of this tragic war. The organization, which will use the funding to build African schools and microeconomic programs as well as raise awareness in North America, received 123,990 votes in Round Two.
Gwendolyn Strong Foundation of Santa Barbara will receive $100,000 and is focused on finding a cure and raising awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the leading genetic cause of death in infants.
“I want to congratulate Invisible Children on their recent $1 million dollar grant,” said Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego). “Invisible Children sets a remarkable example of what young dedicated individuals can do to better our world. Their efforts to change the lives of children are a true inspiration to us all.”
Chase Community Giving’s Advisory Board, which includes Emmy nominated actress Eva Longoria and NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, among others, selected 17 additional charities from the tens of thousands of organizations that were nominated in Round One. The Chase Community Giving Advisory Board was formed to promote the spirit of giving and oversee the online voting process. The Board recognized three small and local charities in California:
Camp Kesem National of Lafayette will receive $100,000 to provide college students across the nation with the tools and support necessary to create self-sustaining summer camp programs for children who have or have had a parent with cancer.
“We have always felt like our mission is powerful and we are thrilled that the members of the Advisory Board feel the same way. The Chase Community Giving experience has helped us to raise awareness about the often overlooked population that we serve,” said Sigall Rave, National Program Director for Camp Kesem. “$100,000 will enable us to eventually impact countless additional families coping with a parent’s cancer and will help us to continue empowering the leaders of tomorrow. We are so thankful that Chase has given us this amazing opportunity. We are inspired by Chase Community Giving and hope the program will continue for years to come.”
A Good Idea of San Francisco will receive $37,000 to provide impactful solutions for homelessness and underserved youth by connecting people in need with teams of people who want to help through service, education, and technology.
“Being selected by the Chase Community Giving Advisory Board is a huge honor for A Good Idea. After operating on virtually zero funding for the past year and a half, I am so grateful for the opportunity Chase has given us to continue to help people in need with the money from the contest,” said Jared Paul, Executive Director of A Good Idea. “To me, the Chase Community Giving Project represents a paradigm shift in the way businesses in the future will connect with our communities and the difficult social issues we are faced with. I believe this contest was brilliant, for it provided the space for people to learn about thousands of organizations that are doing amazing things for our planet while at the same time empowering the everyday person to become passionate about causes through voting.”
Camfed USA Foundation of San Francisco will receive $37,000 to supports girls’ education and young women’s empowerment in Africa.
“We’re thrilled to have been a part of the Chase Community Giving competition and to have been selected for one of the Advisory Board’s awards,” said Angeline Murimirwa, a former Camfed scholarship recipient and now the executive director of Camfed Zimbabwe. “The impact of the funding from Chase to support girls through high school in Zimbabwe will be long-reaching. By attending high school, these girls will receive a new lease on life and be able to hope for a better future for the first time. Education will help them escape from poverty that has trapped their families for generations. In addition to the funding, which will directly impact the lives of girls today, taking part in the program has given us the opportunity to educate Chase Community Giving’s millions of fans about the power of girls’ education to fight poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa.”
Facebook users voted for charities with a broad range of worthy missions, providing service in areas such as: assisting the families of children with special needs, offering healthcare in rural areas, and supporting people struggling with depression. Other charities selected by the Advisory Board range from organizations that create programs to help individuals and communities grappling with hate crimes and bias to providing quality college advising to talented, financially disadvantaged high school students who are motivated to attend college.
Based on fans’ overwhelming response and passion for local charities, Chase has committed to continue Chase Community Giving in the future.
“We are thrilled with the way Facebook Fans came out to support the wide range of small and local charities through this new method of giving and we are grateful for the participation of the Advisory Board members. Because of the overwhelming response and positive feedback, we will continue Chase Community Giving in the future,” said Kim Davis, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. “We think this program resonated with individuals and entire communities because it allowed them to show their support for local needs in a way they never could before. Chase Community Giving allowed Facebook users, as well as the leadership on the Advisory Board, to express their passion for smaller charities and gave a national voice to charities that historically haven’t received funding from corporate philanthropies. In many cases, these donations are the largest gift the winning charities have ever received.”
“The enthusiastic response to Chase Community Giving confirms that this innovative means of charitable giving is more than possible--it works. Harnessing the power of social networking to give individuals and communities a voice in corporate philanthropy has proven to be a great motivator and will have a significant role in the future of giving,” said Elliot Schrage, Vice President of Global Communications, Marketing and Public Policy at Facebook.
“As the founder of a local nonprofit, I know this was a transformative experience for small charities throughout the country. Over the last two months, Chase Community Giving helped small charities get their stories out, gain new fans, find new sources of support and build an online fundraising strategy for the future,” said NBA Hall-of-Famer and Chase Community Giving Advisory Board Member David Robinson.
To be eligible for the program, charities had to be a registered 501(c)(3) non profit, have an operating revenue under $10 million, not discriminate against any particular groups and meet other requirements as described in the program’s rules. Facebook users voted for non profits in Round One from all 50 states and the District of Columbia that serve the general public in the following areas: education, healthcare, housing, the environment, combating hunger, arts and culture, human services and animal welfare. Tens of thousands of charities rallied supporters through online videos, mass emails, and other grassroots efforts to promote their Big Ideas for making a significant local impact in their communities. On December 16, the top 100 eligible vote-getters were announced to receive $25,000 each, and moved on to Round Two to submit a million dollar grant proposal to Facebook users. Only two of the 100 organizations overlapped with Chase’s existing giving portfolio.
JPMorgan Chase donates a total of more than $100 million annually to more than 3,000 non-profit organizations in local communities, nationally and abroad. This $5 million Facebook effort is in addition to the bank’s traditional philanthropic giving.
For more information on the program and other winning charities, visit: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving.
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), which operates more than 5,100 branches and 15,000 ATMs nationally under the Chase brand. Chase has 146 million credit cards issued and serves consumers and small businesses through bank branches, ATMs and mortgage offices as well as through relationships with auto dealerships and schools and universities. More information about Chase is available at www.chase.com.
Founded in February 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. Facebook is a privately held company and is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif.
Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.
Gary Kishner, 818-618-8302