What Chase bank learned from its charity campaign backlash

JP Morgan Chase spokesman isn’t denying that the bank ran into problems with its Community Giving campaign this year, but contends it’s done a lot of good, too. And the company is working out the kinks.

“When you look at the big picture, it’s very, very successful,” he says, noting that the program has donated millions of dollars to charities that would otherwise not get much attention. The campaign encourages Facebook users to vote for charities to receive contributions of varying size from the bank.

Timmerman doesn’t deny that the bank made some mistakes with the execution of this year’s program, which led to accusations of impropriety and fraud. Eventually, the bank gave $10,000 contributions to charities that were announced as winners but hadn’t actually made the cut.

Chase has learned some major lessons, Timmerman says, but he still encourages brands to conduct Facebook charity campaigns.

The robo-vote problem

A small percentage of participants in the campaign—be they the charities themselves or simply some overzealous supporters—used robo-votes to increase their standings in the competition. Facebook fans, for good reason, don’t like that.

Timmerman says Chase and a third-party partner examine each vote to make sure it’s legitimate.

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