There are a lot of contests on the web lately — many of them offering cash awards to charitable organizations that generate the most votes from their supporters. I just voted in two contests today, helping two of the organizations I support and respect. At Farther Foundation we are in the midst of an online contest as well – please cast your vote for us at www.oakparkapartments.com.
It is easy to look at all these contests as simply marketing ploys, using nonprofit organizations and their supporters’ good will as just another way to increase visits to a for-profit business’s website. Certainly there is an element of truth in that, it is the business of business to make money, but we should not dismiss the altruism at the root of these promotions. Somewhere in the organization, as part of its marketing plan, the decision was made to donate money to a cause rather than just enlarging an ad buy – that is good, and it likely sprung from some individual’s desire to do good.
It is perhaps easier to be cynical when it is a large corporation, like Chase Bank. It has tons of money, so its giving may not be a significant business expense. It likely has a huge marketing department and contracts with big firms to develop its marketing and advertizing plans, so who is that person driving its philanthropic spirit? I don’t know, but doing something charitable is better than doing nothing.
Our benefactor, should we get enough support to win our contest, is Oak Park Apartments. It is a hometown, family run business celebrating its 25th year in business. They are supporting home-grown and home-based charitable organizations. By the end of their 6 month charity contest, they will have awarded more than $12,000 to local charities. This isn’t Chase Bank money, but it is generous and I’m sure significant relative to the size of their business. I’ve met the owners of Oak Park Apartments in the little league dugouts and community organization tables around town and it is wonderful to live and work in a community with such a great philanthropic spirit.
Help Farther Foundation and the students we support be winners by voting for us at www.oakparkapartments.com.
Farther Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing scholarships to low-income students to inspire them to reach their highest aspirations through educational travel experiences.