ING Direct Facebook campaign adds X-factor to corporate giving

Source: ING Direct

Six national charities were the focus of a recent Facebook driven philanthropy initiative from ING DIRECT.

The company, which has been recognized as a leader in the social media space, used the social networking tool to give its stakeholders a voice in their corporate giving program. Fans of the company's Facebook page, which number more than 10,000, were allowed one vote per day during the three week campaign, coined "We Like to Give". Their votes determined the percentage of the $150,000 donation each charity would receive.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada, a national land conservation organization working to protect our country's natural areas and species secured 27% of the votes and funding, edging out Raising the Roof, a charity dedicated to reducing homeless, which secured 25%. The other national charities which received a portion of funding include: Right To Play which works to improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace; Actua which brings science, engineering and technology to life for Canada's youth; Evergreen whose mission is to makes cities more livable by creating and sustaining dynamic outdoor spaces; and DAREarts which works to build courage and confidence in children in at-risk communities using the power of the arts.

Peter Aceto, President and CEO of ING DIRECT, who is actively involved in the company's community activities, fully supports and encourages activities like the recent Facebook campaign because he believes that companies need to do more than 'chequebook philanthropy'.

Aceto said, "Giving means far more to us than simply writing a cheque. In addition to giving money, we believe it's important to also give our time and energy. In everything we do, accountability is key, and our charitable projects are geared to put accountability first to ensure we are making a real difference."

ING DIRECT seeks out charities that share their vision on corporate giving. This includes defining up front specifically how the money donated will be used, to account for how the money donated helped to advance their cause and to provide the opportunity for ING DIRECT employees to get involved.

The desire to get involved in the community led ING DIRECT to develop a program called "Orange in the Community", where hundreds of their employees descend on an area in need, to revitalize an outdoor space in one day. In Toronto, they have helped to build the city's first natural playground at McCleary Park in downtown Toronto and revitalized the outdoor spaces around an east end Toronto Community Housing complex, home to 800 people.

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