Facebook fans fuel Target donations to Salvation Army

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Target uses social media to distribute charitable gift.

Target recently awarded The Salvation Army $391,258 as part of the company’s first-ever giving campaign on Facebook, Bullseye Gives. From May 10 – 25, The Salvation Army’s fans on Facebook, constituents, donors and supporters rallied together and voted for the organization to win 13 percent of a $3 million charitable donation.

“Target has always shown remarkable support to The Salvation Army and the nonprofit sector, and we are extremely honored to receive this gift from Target through the Bullseye Gives campaign,” said Major Deborah Sjogren, the Army’s national liaison for public policy. “This generous contribution will allow The Salvation Army to continue revitalizing and developing numerous community libraries in cities in which The Salvation Army serves across the country.”

With 291,399 total votes tallied during the Bullseye Gives campaign, Target will donate a portion of the $3 million amount to 10 charities based on their percentage of votes (see the breakdown at facebook.com/target). During the 15-day campaign, The Salvation Army USA launched a Facebook page to encourage voting. The page drew more than 5,000 followers, who shared over 150 personal stories throughout the campaign.

“We’re grateful to the online community for their passionate response to Bullseye Gives and their willingness to share personal stories about why these charities are important to them. We’re excited that all 10 amazing charities will receive a generous donation, as well as increased awareness through social networking platforms,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations for Target. “The voices of the online community reinforce that giving to those who need it most is a nationwide priority. We encourage the more than 167,000 voters to continue their support of these organizations or other worthy causes.”

The Salvation Army’s portion of Target’s donation will be added to the $1 million grant Target previously gave to the Army to build or revamp libraries, media centers and other educational Salvation Army facilities in the United States. Each of the Army’s 40 divisions chose one location to receive a $25,000 grant. This additional money will further help to improve the design elements of centers and provide new furniture, shelving, books, computers and carpet. Many centers are currently under construction and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009.

The Target Facebook campaign has also inspired similar social media charitable gift contests. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, for example, is giving away $100 a week for 10 weeks, starting May 29, 2009, based on the number of “tweets” for any nonprofit profiled on givingmatters.com. See cfmt.org/twittergiveaway for more information.

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