Will Target’s Facebook Promo Get a Passing/Failing Grade?

Discussion
Aug 16, 2013

Target has long been associated with educational philanthropy, donating millions of dollars every year to American schools. This year is no different, but some have questioned whether a well-intentioned promotion on Facebook will prevent schools that need Target’s philanthropy from getting it.

Since this past Wednesday, individuals could go on Target’s Facebook page and vote for a school of their choice once per week. Once a school receives 25 votes, Target would then donate $1 per vote up to a maximum of $10,000. The retailer has set aside $5 million for the program. The campaign runs through September 21.

The first school that reaches 10,000 votes will get a special bonus visit from Target’s celebrity class of 2013 including a live musical performance by country star Luke Bryan.

"The response to last year’s Give With Target program was overwhelmingly positive, and we are excited to invite our guests to designate $5 million to their schools this year," said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target, in a statement. "By rallying communities across the country in support of education, Target is playing a role in helping put more kids on the path to high school graduation."

[Image: Luke Bryan

In 2012, more than 30,000 schools benefited from the Give With Target program, according to the retailer. The Give With Target program is part of Target’s pledge to donate $1 billion to education by end of 2015.

While no one questions Target’s intentions, some have expressed concern about the relative fairness of the Facebook promotion.

Kat Rosqueta, founding executive director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania, told the Star Tribune that well-organized suburban schools with engaged parents would be able to pull together to get votes while those in small rural towns or inner cities may find it more difficult.

"Schools’ chances of winning the money will only be as good as the strength of the community [to mobilize and vote], not necessarily which schools are the most worthy," she told the paper.

What grade do you think Target will earn for its Give With Target Facebook program? Should Target have accounted for socioeconomic factors that might affect a town’s ability to turn out the vote for the program?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

6 Comments on "Will Target’s Facebook Promo Get a Passing/Failing Grade?"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Karen S. Herman
Guest
8 years 9 months ago

I applaud Target for its Give with Target Facebook effort in using crowd voting so parents, teachers, students and all members of a community can support their local schools.

These days computers are available to all socioeconomic levels, through public libraries, school laptop programs, and corporate efforts such as Apple in Education, and Target’s Facebook program creates a really unique opportunity for schools to find fun and creative ways to engage with their local community through technology to raise funds. Great idea.

Lee Kent
Guest
8 years 9 months ago

As always, I think Target is right on the mark! Also, in my experience, small communities have the ability to rally entire towns and across counties while we in the big cities seem to have a more limited reach. Just sayin’….

Verlin Youd
Guest
8 years 9 months ago

Give Target an A for innovation, keeping the effort fresh, stimulating their shoppers, as well as for effort. The concern about different schools being able to organize better may be legitimate, however, it also may be a strength with the internet as the great equalizer, allowing organizing to occur even where geography could present a challenge.

Matthew Keylock
Guest
Matthew Keylock
8 years 9 months ago
I’m not sure it is that much less fair than other approaches they could take. Some schools will benefit, some won’t. Some will be well-funded already, others less so. All have opportunity to use the money to provide benefit. Some would spend it well, others less well etc. As an aside, I’m always curious about the motivations for public shows of philanthropy and how their success is measured. In this program, it seems like there are many stakeholders who could inspire the community response, which is good: entrepreneurial school-children, parents, community leaders or the school themselves. How this plays out across the country will be valuable for Target and Facebook to learn. Unfortunately, a great community campaign mobilized slightly too late could miss out completely. I hope Target have some measurement plans in place for downside impacts too (e.g. in the event communities that receive little benefit for a great campaign decide to “unlike” Target as a result by shopping elsewhere). It may be a better program if they (a) included some other winning categories… Read more »
Al McClain
Guest
Al McClain
8 years 9 months ago

It may not be the fairest way to dole out the gifts, but I place this squarely in the category of “no good deed goes unpunished.” Maybe they’ll adjust the formula next year after the criticism, but in the meantime, 500 schools are getting $10K, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
8 years 9 months ago

I guess I’m the wet blanket here, but I think this illustrates perfectly the perils of trying to turn philanthropy into a marketing ploy. You get a hybrid that succeeds at the latter by sacrificing the former. If Target—or anyone, for that matter—wants to give money away, the best way is to lower prices and let the customers decide where the money should go.

wpDiscuz

Take Our Instant Poll

What grade do you think Target will earn for its Give With Target Facebook program?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...