Ten charities are competing and campaigning for online votes from Facebook members, with the final tally determining which nonprofits deserve the biggest slices of $3 million from Minneapolis-based Target.
Bullseye Gives is a two-week-long giving campaign that started Sunday and runs through May 25.
Target, long known for giving a portion of its sales to charity, is asking Facebook members to visit www.facebook.com/Target and help decide how the 10 national charities will divide the retail giant's $3 million in weekly charitable giving.
Those 10 charities are: the American Red Cross, the National Park Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Operation Gratitude, Feeding America, the Parent Teacher Association, HandsOn Network/Points of Light Institute, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Kids In Need Foundation and the Salvation Army.
The larger the percentage of votes, the more each organization gets out of the $3 million.
Voting returns and dollars allocated will be updated in real time at www.facebook.com/Target. Site visitors can vote once per day, every day throughout the contest. Final results will be announced May 26.
The roster of 10 was built in order to offer the public a variety of charity sizes, a varying levels of reach and a broad scope of missions they pursue, said Target spokeswoman Kelly Basgen.
Some of the 10 already have a relationship with Target, but the money raised in this effort "will be above and beyond" what those charities typically receive, Basgen said.
The Salvation Army's national spokeswoman said that accepting Target's offer to be one of the 10 charities was "a no-brainer."
"It's a really neat idea for giving, and it gives us a chance to mobilize our online effort," said Melissa Temme, speaking from the Salvation Army's headquarters in Washington, D.C. "We're still grappling on how to use social networking. This is a really neat way to have one rally cry ... and mobilize our supporters without having to cost them anything."
Temme acknowledged that the format makes this an unfolding competition among the 10 charities for how a finite pool of money is carved up. However, she said, "Target is promoting this to the general public, and you don't want to underestimate personal choice."
Target is coordinating with all 10 charities on ways to draw as many votes as possible, Basgen said. "Some organizations may be better at organizing than others," she said. "We've equipped all the nonprofits to do a promotional campaign of their own to activate their supporters."
The Salvation Army's headquarters is assisting its local offices around the country in promoting the Target/Facebook campaign, trying to give it the best chance to win as many votes -- and as much money -- as possible.
"We're very decentralized," Temme said. "We've provided some ideas and some [website] content [to local chapters]. And then we leave it up to them."
Those voting are cautioned by Target before they send their vote through that their online ballot allows Bullseye Gives access to "your profile information, photos, your friends' info, and other content ... ." Through Bullseye Gives, voters also are connected to service and volunteer opportunities in their communities.
Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of the company's income to support education, social services, the arts and volunteerism. Today, that 5 percent adds up to more than $3 million a week.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482