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."
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?