Facebook users to decide winners of JPMorgan Chase grants

JPMorgan Chase has announced the launch of a $5 million community giving program on the social networking site Facebook that it hopes will inspire a new approach to corporate philanthropy.

The Chase Community Giving program invites Facebook users to nominate nonprofit organizations with operating budgets of no more than $10 million working in the areas of education, housing, the environment, health and human services, arts and culture, and animal welfare to receive a grant from Chase. The initiative is in addition to Chase’s traditional philanthropic efforts to higher-profile nonprofits. If the effort is successful, the bank will likely commit more of its annual giving through this method of crowdsourcing nominations of smaller local charities.

The 100 organizations that get the most votes by December 11 will each receive $25,000 from Chase and advance to the program’s second round. There they will have the option to submit a “Million Dollar Proposal” to Facebook users, detailing the difference they would make in their local community with the extra resources.

Starting January 15, Facebook users will be able to vote again. On February 1, the organization receiving the most votes will be announced as the winner of $1 million, with the five runners-up each receiving $100,000. In addition, a special advisory that includes celebrities, Facebook and Chase executives will award $1 million to the nominated charity of its choice, while members of the board who do not work for Chase or Facebook will receive a $25,000 honorarium to donate to a charity of their choice.

JVA Consulting will be watching closely to see if this method of grantmaking continues with other corporations. Check nonprofitstreet.com for updates in the future.

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