Chase Cheating IV: Chase Giving Doesn’t Care About Cheating

Here are Part IPart II, and Part III. This is Part IV. There’s a The End? post too.

So everything you’ve seen in the last three posts I sent to Chase Community Giving. And this is what I received in response:

We are fully aware of this situation and to-date we have not found evidence that this activity is a result of actions taken by the charity.
Thank you for participating in Chase Community Giving!

So I replied:

So what you’re saying is that paying directly for votes is okay if you can’t prove the charity itself is doing it? Have you looked at the management of InvisionCA? Do any of them sit on the boards of any of the participating schools?

What about Hillel giving away a camcorder in return for votes? Or SCHA giving away iPad2s in return for votes? Both of those came directly from the schools.

What about the part of the rules that states “whose primary purpose is to advance a religious denomination, expand membership or encourage conversion, or whose programs and services are limited (in an exclusionary way) to serving those of a specific religious denomination or faith while excluding others solely because of their religious beliefs;”

They sent this back:

We cannot punish or disqualify participants based on allegations. Furthermore, the charities that you’re concerned with were of the many educational institutions we reviewed and determined met our eligibility requirements. 

And I said:

I would still appreciate an answer on how the giveaways I sent you relate to the rules.

That was at 12:46 p.m. EDT. Each of their replies took about fifteen minutes. It’s now 3:45 p.m. and I haven’t heard back from them. I don’t expect I will.

And I don’t know why I should have been at all surprised at their nonchalance at charities using money to make more money.

They are a freakin’ bank.

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44 Responses to Chase Cheating IV: Chase Giving Doesn’t Care About Cheating

  1. Lew W. says:

    Heh. Good work, Jocelyn.

    But I just noticed the “logo” to the right of the first few lines of your post.

    It says,
    “Chase Community Giving ”
    “$$$ decides what matters”

    We might have deduced the likelihood of voting irregularities
    based on this.

    So what is Chase’s motivation? Marketing Chase’s brand, and little else.

  2. Jack says:

    I hope they reply again regarding the giveaways as it must certainly set the tone for future events. Put a snazzy car as top prize, post the details on a couple of the big competition websites, and expect votes from compers to dwarf everyone else’s. The cause will become an irrelevance to gaining position on the leader-board. More exposure for Chase Giving, but is this really where they want this to go?

    I can only hope they fully investigate the allegations and clarify what’s considered unsportsmanlike conduct. Thanks for posting about this Jocelyn.

  3. lisa says:

    thanks for trying…i’m sure it used up a lot of your precious energy…so i want to let you know your efforts are appreciated. the harder you look and see the world, the more rotten it seems to be sometimes. i was very naive about the goodness and moral core of ppl before i became ill with this disease and learned how truly horrible ppl can be even those who are supposed to be trying to hep others.

    warmly, lisa

    • Jocelyn says:

      Thanks, Lisa. Yes, this has been a whole lot of not fun in a period where I thought I was going to get to relax after the stress/effort of pushing for votes in round two. But I was willing to use my energy this way because nobody else was telling the story, and it needed to be told.

      • joe says:

        so if you were “pushing for votes in round two”, why is what anyone did any worse. you were trying to get votes for your cause, so was everyone else.
        everyone offers “bribes” for votes, even politicians. you vote for the person who promised to do what you want to hear.
        this is no different.
        stop your whining, and be grateful for the huge amount of money your charity is getting.

  4. Marty says:

    A friend of mine sent me the link to this blog and I’ve been reading this all since this morning. At first I was appalled at what I was reading. However – as my mother taught me- don’t ever pass judgment on ANYONE unless you get both sides of the story. Now, I’ll start by saying, I hate banks, particularly Chase.

    First of all, your charity just won over $60,000. For free. No strings attached. Money. In your pocket that you most likely would have never received. This you can thank Chase for.

    Secondly, after reading the rules for this contest, I didn’t see anywhere that said you can’t offer incentives. Also, on this note, I don’t see any evidence that these charities offered these anytime past May, 19, which leads me to believe the problem was nipped.

    I find it pretty sad and disturbing that people would try so hard to get a fellow CHARITY disqualified for obvious bias opinions on “who’s charity is more meaningful”. Shame on everyone participating on this blog. I can’t believe I’m actually siding with a bank here, but this I find a little ridiculous.

    It seems to me that if you spent half of the effort you have de-crediting a program that is DONATING money on rallying voters, you may have had better luck winning more FREE money.

    Also, I think you should probably think twice about messing around with someone’s logo. My guess is that it’s trademarked.

    • Jack says:

      People can be pretty inventive when it comes to breaking rules. Subsequently competition organisers try to list vague ‘catch all’ rules rather than trying to think of every eventuality that may occur. In this case Chase say they are not required to count votes acquired through unsportsmanlike conduct. I can think of little more unsportsmanlike than actually paying someone for their vote rather than through promoting your cause. Would you disagree?

      And yet you find raising this issue to be ‘sad and disturbing’ and bizzarely attribute highlighting their conduct to the fact we see our charity as more deserving. What we actually see is much needed research money, and effort to attain it, being impacted by some immoral tactics. But we should just be grateful with what we get and shut the hell up, right?

    • Jigish says:

      @Marty – You fail terribly at logic.

      1. The whole point about $60,000 is irrelevant. We’re talking about buying votes with giveaways (and even cash!). Whether her charity got $6000, $60,000 or $600,000 is immaterial.

      2. Explain to me again how does “offering incentives” and “offering cash” can be spoken of in the same breath as “sporting behavior”. But then you probably didn’t know what “sporting” means .. do you?

      3. what’s so “sad and disturbing” about outing cheaters and demanding that they not get away with their unfair tactics? Stopped on 19th? How do you know?

      4. My organization finished in the top 50 – so i do know how much of hard work this is. We played it fair and clean. So did her organization (it seems). She is justified in feeling wronged. This is not about winning free money, it is about playing fair … but then I don’t think you know what playing fair means

  5. Bob says:

    Shame, Marty, that you simply fail to realize it’s unethical for anyone to bribe people to buy their votes, said votes returning something like a 100:1 return on investment. Your defense of the practice, while splitting legal hairs, makes me think you’re a lawyer.

    • Marty says:

      Oh I see where you’re coming from. I don’t, however, see how people who just received a donation could be so negative towards the program that donated to them. It’s kind of sad that people can’t even give away money anymore.

      • Jack says:

        People are being negative because they think the organisers are not tackling cheating after being presented with strong evidence. People can give away money any time.

  6. Hope Munro Smith says:

    The alteration of Chase’s logo is obviously a parody, and all parody and satire are protected by the First Amendment.

  7. joe says:

    you don’t have to be Jewish to go to those Hebrew schools. anyone can go. and they don’t convert people.

    • StewartCT says:

      That is NOT true Joe, if you go on these websites and look at admission criteria

      Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy Mission Statement (placed 7th)

      MIssion Statement
      Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy is a community school founded by Chabad and open to all Jewish students, daycare through eighth grade. The school provides an excellent Judaic and secular education. In an atmosphere of warmth and enthusiasm, we provide the setting to help students develop into responsible and capable leaders with an enduring love of Judaism. With this foundation, graduates are well prepared with the skills to continue their education at the institution of their choice. The school recognizes the importance of a dedicated faculty, working together with parents to imbue students with Torah values, community responsibility, and a love of Israel. SCHA encourages each child to develop as a whole, by building fine character traits and instilling a life-long love of learning.

      There is nothing on their website that invites Gentiles to apply! The same goes for the rest of the academy’s represented in the Chase Giving program.

  8. StewartCT says:

    Jocelyn, since it appears there are a number of attorneys posting on this site I would like to know if there is a potential for a class action suit against Chase. No matter what happens here, justice or tolerance, the event will forever be under a cloud of suspicion. A shame for charities that truly depend on these grants to survive.

    • sam says:

      your missing a point! The money belongs to Chase to decide how they want to give it out. your going to sue them for how they wanna spend their money ? please explain

      • Lew says:

        RE: Sam’s comment on StewartCT.

        Is the money really Chase’s? I thought Chase was merely the distributor of monies donated by others (perhaps large corporate contributors who choose not to actually send monies directly to worthy benefactors – hence the term “Community (collective) Giving). If that is the case, I wonder if any of those “givers” would consider Chase’s management (lack of) / interest in the integrity (lack of) / of the process would cause them to retreat from this method, or even demand that Chase clean up the “rules” to promote ethics, integrity.

      • StewartCT says:

        I am NOT missing the point. Chase posted RULES which most of the groups chose to follow. There is an implied contract between Chase and those charities that participated in the grant process. Chase has not held up their own rules to scrutiny and as such opens up the entire program to legal scrutiny.

  9. James says:


    Thank you so much for your tireless efforts in uncovering this complete fraud! I don’t know who makes me sicker — the cheaters or the people defending them!

    Ethics and charity should go hand in hand. End of story. Claiming that the “rules weren’t technically violated” will NEVER be a defense.

    This whole thing has been a major slap in the face to those of us who went out and campaigned on the merits of our individual charitable causes. I never asked anyone to vote for my cause without first explaining my position. Some people may not have voted, and that was their choice. But to incentivize the voting process and gather votes from people more interested in their social networking games than the actual causes, is just wrong!

    My org probably wasn’t going to make the Top 25 (at least we tried), so this isn’t some case of “sour grapes” or “one charity is more worthwhile than another”. And this isn’t some knock on Chase.
    Yet. Yes, they gave away free money, but to sit back and watch cheaters waltz away with the majority of it should fill Chase people with outrage. Their noble contest has been perverted by cheaters! It defeats the purpose of what Chase was trying to do — create awareness for Chase Community Giving and a number of great charities.

    Anyway, I could go on and on. Jocelyn, thank you again for all you’ve done to uncover and publicize this. I will raise hell trying to create similar awareness in my region!


  10. Sharon says:

    I know of several “institutional organizations” that applied and were not allowed to enter…..Chase’s reply is hogwash…they aren’t going to do anything. Nice of them to offer contests for nonprofits/charity but if charity means incentives/buying votes/etc., then just write the charities out a check so the rest of us who play by the rules and fair don’t waste our precious time on trying to garner votes on the up and up.

  11. Casey says:

    You notice Chase didn’t say they investigated…rather they just said didn’t find evidence, which means they did nothing. Just spouting you neutral legalese/no-fault crap.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Heh. I hadn’t thought of that interpretation. Good one. I have a feeling that whatever marketing flak is writing these responses has a lawyer looking over their shoulder.

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  15. 2B+aF says:

    Jean did not owe anyone an apology on behalf of an entire religion. Bless her heart for her compassion and empathy. Those are qualities that I haven’t seen much of here.

    When you are defining who is ‘us’ and who is ‘them’ in this labeling of ‘cheaters,’ take a look at the comments from some of the supporters of the Conejo school. On Wednesday, they were rallying for valid votes, and seemed sincerely surprised at the large response. Once the supporters got through, they probably just left short remarks, so that others could also get through. Don’t blame all of ‘them.’

    Also, all five of these schools are affiliated with ‘Friendship Circle’ which has a program to Stop Bullying against kids with developmental problems. What gives any of you the right to say that ‘they’ don’t ‘deserve’ a gym because you are sick? Shame on you. Shame on you for making anti-Semitic comments here. Shame on you for wanting to penalize all of these children for the wrongdoings of a few adults, from possibly just a few of the affiliated schools.

    Yes, the CFS/ME community holds WPI as a beacon of hope. We got our hopes dashed when they didn’t get more money. We had high expectations that didn’t come through. It doesn’t mean the world is out to get us, because this does seem to parallel the dashed-hope pattern of our own lives, and the pattern of research ups and downs from recent months. If you want to ‘fix things’, then at a later date, step up and offer to help Chase refine the rules.

    Now… you need to step off.
    (Please note the scholarships)

    • Jocelyn says:

      Welcome, 2B+aF. Your comment ended up in the moderation queue (most things go straight through). I’ve approved it, and you’re welcome to join in on the discussion, but obviously feelings are running high with many folks. While there are admittedly some negative words here and there in the discussion, I’ve let things stand that I don’t agree with because I figure we can all handle differing opinions, even if we find them offensive. The three of us who are working to compile information have no intention to demean anyone personally. It’s the payments we’re upset with, not the people.

      • 2B+aF says:

        I appreciate that you approved my posting. My wording was harsher than what I’d normally use *exhausted*. My sincere intent is to ask you all to just take a step back… to not blame everyone. Thank you.

      • Jocelyn says:

        No worries. I know we’re all trying to be good stewards of our energy, and it’s been a real challenge. I think all of us were expecting the end of the week to allow us to chill after that long physical and emotional struggle of the second round. It was really hard to watch those places slip away at the end and feel helpless in yet another way.

    • Jack says:

      “What gives any of you the right to say that ‘they’ don’t ‘deserve’ a gym because you are sick? Shame on you. Shame on you for making anti-Semitic comments here. Shame on you for wanting to penalize all of these children for the wrongdoings of a few adults, from possibly just a few of the affiliated schools.”

      Non of this has actually happened here though, has it?

      Let’s not obfuscate the issue, this is about cheating. People just want clarity from Chase as to what is acceptable behaviour and a leaderboard free of bought votes. What is not acceptable about this?

      Now can I get a ‘shame on those who cheated’ from you?

  16. 2B+aF says:

    Yes. I’ll give it to you in all caps so you know I really mean it.
    I’m rarely a ‘Shame-on-You’ type of person, so that’s really gonna have to be my last one. I wasn’t trying to confuse the issue. I was trying to focus the blame on ONLY those who deserve the blame, because some of the comments were casting too wide a net. And, some of the comments were based on entitlement, having nothing to do with cheating. That was unacceptable to me when they were religion-related, rather than just CFS vents of overtired frustration.

    BTW: I checked out the Part I Barnyard link on Thursday AM, and that player had among her likes an obvious one that linked directly to a Chase voting page, but ONLY when I liked it. That action also posted an automatic VOTE link on my page. Almost 3,000 people had done the same thing. I’ve never seen a ‘like’ do that before. Only one of her (very recent added) Friends, had a similar posted link. He did not have the same ‘like’ that she had listed among hers, and that I’d also had added to mine. And, the link posting on his Wall was different from hers and mine (“Vote for Peace” or something like that). It was very curious in terms of coding. I hope my explanation made sense.

  17. Hmmmm. says:

    p.s. Regardless of how this turns out, I admire your passion.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Thanks, Hmmmm. This actually fits in quite well with my lifetime of activism. I can’t do almost any of the physical things I used to do, but I can still get mad as hell at injustice.

  18. Kate says:

    I visited your FB site. Just wanted to say the list of schools posted that won from Kohls is an old. Three of the schools listed on the page were dq’d. Kohls never posted an official list. But, with press releases etc. it was simple enough to figure out. One way was there was publicity on the charter school (from SC) that also made into the top 100 in this contest (they moved up after the dqs).

    • Jocelyn says:

      Yeah, that was why I said on fb that it was a preliminary list. Nobody seems to have bothered to make a post-disqualification list and put it up on the intertubes.

  19. Kate says:

    That is correct. Kohls never released an official press release with the new schools listed. They posted a map and when you clicked on it – it showed the schools in that area that won. For example it you clicked on CA and it would list a school in Los Angeles. I did see a new list posted on FB, but it was put together by someone following the contest and not by anyone from Kohls. I never saw one listed anywhere else.

    I do think these large contests should clarify their rules before and during a contest. If incentives are allowed, then everyone should be aware of that. Many people will still hate that practice, but at least everyone would know upfront what was legal and what is not.

    Just wanted to say personally, I really hope your charity does get additional money. I understand Chase will award additional money as well to a charity/s they pick. I sincerely wish it is yours.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Thanks for your comments, Kate. It is frustrating to us that WPI has been fighting for crumbs when there are one million of us whose lives have been inexorably altered by the disease. I marked seven years yesterday with ME/CFS; I’m bedridden, cannot work, and lost my childbearing years. With one million of us ill, it feels like AIDS in the early 80s…why is no one putting money toward this affliction, when things are so bad? We are fortunate in that there are other sources of funding available to us as an illness community. Hope we can leverage some of those successfully soon.

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