Four drum corps competed for a $1 million grant in the Chase Community Giving campaign on Facebook.
The program allowed not-for-profits to submit their “Big Ideas” and solicit votes from Facebook friends. One hundred groups— including Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Colts (under the name Legion Aires) and Phantom Regiment—received $25,000 and moved into the second round.
The corps’ “Big Ideas” included expansion of community outreach, a new training facility and a new mobile kitchen.
Jim Coates, COO of Carolina Crown, happened to be at a dinner with people from two of the corps when he heard the news. “We realized that in order for us to have any strength that it would be good to go promote the activity in general and advertise to vote for all four corps at the same time,” Coates says.
All four corps finished in the top 50 percent among national charities such as the American Cancer Society, Kiva Microfunds and the National Autism Association. The winning charity was Invisible Children, a group that helps war-affected children in Africa.
According to Coates, this program taught him and the corps valuable lessons to help shape the future of the drum corps activity by creating a stronger unified message. “Although we told people to vote for all four, they didn’t do it,” he says.“First you should have an allegiance to an activity in general. We need people to understand that we’re about more than just competing on a football field; it’s about a life-changing experience and creating excellence for young people.”
Read the corps’ “Big Ideas” at http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving.