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Helping to win $900,000+ for ME/CFS research - brainstorming for Round 2, Chase comp

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Dolphin, May 5, 2011.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Somebody suggested a brainstorming thread for Round 2, Chase Community Giving where, the WPI and the CAA could win $900,000+ between them.

    I know that not everyone will vote for both - people who plan to vote for just one are also most welcome.

    Perhaps debates about the relative merits of one or the other can generally be kept to other threads e.g. http://forums.phoenixrising.me/show...or-CAA-to-get-big-research-in-the-Chase-Conte.
  2. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Thought I'd keep that first post brief and put this into a separate section.

    The figure of $900,000+ comes from:

    (i) 1st prize: $500,000

    (ii) 2nd prize: $400,000

    and

    this extra money the advisory board is giving away (not sure whether we can influence this much or not):

  3. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 Senior Member

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    Here's strategies that I have thought if for Round 2:

    - I am going to email each one of my friends seperately (copying the email over) and not only ask them to vote but also to do me a personal favor and to campaign for votes themselves. We need healthy people to help us and if they can each rally their friends it could be huge. I think I will get a much bigger response from friends if I ask them one by one instead of sending a group email. Also love Justin Reillys idea of making a contest between your friends or offering to do something silly/fun if they can get X number of votes......we might just see Justin with a shaved head if his pals pull through :)

    - I would like to make up a flyer that I will take to Dr. Lapp's office next week and ask them to distribute to each of their patients. Could anyone else volunteer to take flyers to Drs. Bateman, Klimas, Peterson's ,etc. Also, if I could get help putting together a catchy flyer that would be great. If not, I just plan to write one up on Word and I'll be glad to share it with everyone (if there is a way to share Word files?) At the top, I like it to say "Win Money for CFS Research, it's Free and Easy"

    - I will take flyers with me to my CFS Support Group and pass them out and make an annoucement (it's amazing how many PWC's aren't on the forums).

    - Anyone that will be sitting in a booth to promote CFS Awareness Day can bring a laptop and ask people to log into Facebook and vote right at the table, just need to be in a WiFi area which can be tricky

    - My husband will walk around his work area and while chatting with his friends at their desks just ask them to log into their Facebook account real quick and then he will just lead them right through the process

    As a note, I'm asking people not to vote for any other charities as they are the competition, however, if we could get a concerted effort to vote swamp with another charity I would be open to it, it's just a tricky proposition.
  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks for starting this thread, Dolphin - we really need all our ducks in a row by the time the contest starts.

    I really hope that people will vote (and ask for votes for) both WPI and the CAA - as you mentioned, I've started a thread specifically arguing for that here.

    One obvious thing to do would seem to be to ask WPI to ask its supporters to also support the CAA and vice-versa. Both organisations would do better with extra votes so I would think it would be in their best interests. Better surely that they're in 1st and 2nd place with each other's help than in 3rd and 4th without it!
  5. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Yes, I've read pacts can be the way to go in terms of strategy e.g. something like 6 out of the 7 winners in a Pepsi Challenge competition (maybe I have the wrong competition) had some sort of pact to help each other.

    I was hoping to try to keep this away from that topic although it's definitely good you're raising it. I think it might be better to have separate thread(s) on it. We all lived in relative harmony in another thread http://forums.phoenixrising.me/showthread.php?8894-The-BIG-CHASE-funding-US-ME-CFS-non-profits even when some people were not necessarily calling for votes for the same groups. So it might be nice to have this particular thread as a more "non-partisan" thread for the moment (i.e. people who want votes for the WPI only, the CAA only and the WPI & CAA can all contribute without too much effort being spent on this issue).
  6. beesknees

    beesknees Senior Member

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    Thanks Dolphin for starting this thread.

    My round 2 plan:

    I won't have energy to do some of these other ideas so if you have the energy have at it. ;)

    -Contact CFS blogs and ask them to share the information.

    -Check out CFS books at the library. Put a piece of paper in each of them about the voting and return the books. If you can't print out details you can write them out.

    -Spread the word at church or church groups. Ask a family member to tell their friends at church. If you are part of a church see if they have a Facebook group and post on their wall. Hang up a flyer if they have a community board.

    -Other than Facebook and Myspace- Find Social networking sites and post there. If you create a fake profile call yourself ME or CFS Advocate, something like that, if you can search for people that mention CFS and ask them to be friends.

    -Advertise in any free local newspapers.

    -Post a video on youtube asking for votes. Post your cat or dog asking for votes. Everyone loves cute animal videos. :) This might get the attention of your friends especially those with a sense of humor. Who can resist a cuty cat asking for something.

    -If you have any college age kids see if they can post a flyer on or around Campus.
  7. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    I think it would be great if next week's CFSAC meeting could mention the contest as it's being videocasted online but I doubt that government will allow it. However, if anyone (or know anyone) who is testifying in person, that person could mention it within their five minutes and hold up a sheet of paper with the voting dates and perhaps an e-mail link to a site which tells people how to vote. The reason why I would say write it on paper is if people can't write it down fast enough they can see it again when video is archived (which might be before end of contest).

    I'd also suggest that people attending the meeting in-person ask people (not just patients but government officials/ researchers/ clinicians) they meet to vote for WPI/ CAA and give them an e-mail link on a card or tell them you will send them a link. I don't expect these folks to vote in any "official" capacity but rather appeal to them personally, as a human being/ mother/ father/ etc., for their personal vote.
  8. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Lots of good ideas so far.

    Good idea about meeting. The list of people giving oral testimony is at: http://www.hhs.gov/advcomcfs/meetings/presentations/05102011.html . Probably best to try to contact them sooner rather than later to give them time to adjust their testimony(s).
  9. frenchtulip

    frenchtulip Senior Member

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    I like this idea! If the speaker could have a t-shirt with "Chase Community Giving Contest on Facebook" "Vote for WPI & CFIDS Assn." "For $500,000" "May 19th-24th," viewers would have time to see the critical info. The shirt could also say, "Check WPI and CFIDS Assn. Facebook sites." We'd need to make sure we have Chase info recently posted on those sites.

    I will try to go back and post news about the Round One wins on some of the Facebook and Internet sites for groups I contacted. Hope123, I have tried to send you a private message but your storage space seems to be full.--I liked your ideas. I will be glad to take a chunk of organizations to contact for Round Two. If we should have enough volunteers, I think it would be good if we could post on our designated sites and then go back and post reminders so they don't forget about the need to vote.

    I am wondering if we could set up some kind of giveaway for Round Two--a contest within a contest. It would be for those who vote for both the WPI and CAA. Those wanting to enter simply leave a comment on both the WPI and CAA voting pages and include the word "giveaway." Names appearing on both pages with the word "giveaway" are entered into a drawing to be held at the end of Round Two. The prize could be something like a $50 gift card to Amazon or some popular place. I don't know if this would help, but the competition with the wolves and buglers is going to be fierce in Round Two.
  10. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    I'd be willing to give $50 or whatever for a prize. I saw another group had a prize of $100 in round 1 for those that voted. Perhaps they would have to share it on their FB page or post in the box - that could be used as verification.

    Can't write more for a moment.
  11. beesknees

    beesknees Senior Member

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    I like the idea. Are we sure this isn't against the rules? I don't think it is, I just want to be sure. I don't want to get accused of buying votes.
  12. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    It's certainly an important point. If we could point to one or preferably more groups who had done it, they might be useful. I have been trying to find the reference to the $100 draw/giveaway I saw. I'm 99% sure it was on the Chase Giving site - it was either in the Twitter feed and/or in the box where people could post after they voted. I have been trying to search Twitter but have had no luck so far e.g. #chasegiving 100 gives me a couple of the most recent pages and then stalls (don't know if that's because my connection is relatively slow and whether other people can go back further). Other serach terms (all with #chasegiving) haven't helped e.g. draw, prize, raffle, giveaway.
  13. frenchtulip

    frenchtulip Senior Member

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    Great ideas, everyone!

    Beesknees and Dolphin, yes, that is an important point. This is what I found in the Official Rules:

    Chase is not responsible for, nor is it required to count, in its sole and absolute discretion, late, lost, misdirected, unlawful or illicit votes, votes cast for Charities later determined to be ineligible, votes achieved through automated means, by registering more than one user profile, using another Participant's e-mail account and name, as well as those that are achieved through other fraudulent means, unsportsmanlike conduct or in a manner otherwise inconsistent with these Official Rules.

    I'm not sure if the $50 dollar gift card contest idea would be considered "a manner otherwise inconsistent with these Official Rules." I don't think it would be "unsportsmanlike."

    Dolphin, your offer was most generous. Perhaps we could split the cost. Having voters post a comment in the boxes after they vote for both the CAA and WPI would certainly provide confirmation. And asking them to Share on their Facebook pages is a super idea.--Is there a way we can know if they actually share? I have been thinking it might be best to have voters use a code phrase like "Go, CAA!" or "Go, WPI!" in the comment box to indicate they want to be entered in the giveaway. If we use something like "giveaway," other organizations may copy the idea and offer bigger prizes. I am thinking the target group would be largely the supporters of the CAA and the WPI and their friends. We could post it on the CAA and WPI pages (assuming it is okay with both groups) and also publicize it on our own walls and here in this forum. It's late and I may not be thinking very clearly. More tomorrow.
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I might very well see this strategy as unsportsmanlike if I was Chase - I know it's well intended and it is a generous offer but it could be seen as a cash bribe to vote. Imagine if someone did this in a national election! It would be a terrible scandal if people were offering cash for votes.

    If we did this I think there's a very good chance that we could get our charities disqualified because there'd be no way of identifying which votes came in as a response to the cash offer - Chase would have to disallow all the votes in fairness to the other competitors.

    Sorry to discourage a creative and generous idea but I think this one has some unintended consequences!
  15. beesknees

    beesknees Senior Member

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    Maybe we could work the "local" aspect. I am more likely to vote for a charity that I don't know if it's a local charity. WPI is in Reno. Could we get the local newspaper there to write about it. There are classifieds in the Reno Gazette and online. In addition post on Craigslist for the Reno area. Anyone in the Reno area on here that could post flyers around town?
  16. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    I am not adept or active much with Facebook but one thought would be to post at or search out University of Nevada-affiliated sites, Nevada Cancer Institute on FB and post there. Remember the WPI is not a stand-alone facility but part of the University and they stand to gain financially and prestige-wise from anything generated at WPI.
  17. frenchtulip

    frenchtulip Senior Member

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    Sasha, thank you for your feedback. It may be that such a set-up would be in violation of the rules.

    Beesknees and Hope 123, I have been wondering if there was a press release about the two organizations winning that was sent to the newspapers in Reno and Charlotte. I think the local aspect is good and could bring in a lot of votes. I am thinking that local television stations might be willing to promote the two groups in the Round Two. In our state, the largest city won $1,000,000 in Wal-Mart's national foodbank competition; the smaller city to the north won $100,000 in the same competition. The tv stations really got behind the cause and promoted it repeatedly. I think it was also in the local newspapers. The need for feeding the hungry is better understood than is our illness, but still I think there is a good chance for a lot of local support, especially in Reno, which is quite a bit smaller than Charlotte. I think the local newspapers and tv stations should be contacted to see if they will promote the two organizations. And maybe the two charities are already working on that.
  18. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Thanks for your generous support, frenchtulip. Maybe we'll put it aside for now. But if loads of other groups are doing it, let's try to remember to get in touch to try to make it happen.
  19. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Oh dear, I hate to be the one constantly raining on this idea but if other groups start doing it, there is no guarantee that they won't get their charities disqualified if Chase find out - indeed, if the supporters of other charities see this happening they might well report them to Chase for unsportsmanlike behaviour and ask for them to be disqualified. Without clarification from Chase itself about this strategy (who don't respond to email inquiries in my experience) I'd be really scared that this strategy could seriously backfire.

    I'm so sorry! I hate to discourage an idea especially one based on generosity! But I remember in the recent Netipot contest that won us some money, lots of votes were disqualified after the contest organisers had made checks (I think on people creating fake email accounts to vote). I think that an organisation dishing out over $1 million like Chase will be making checks and will be obliged, for the sake of its own reputation, to be seen to be running a fair contest.
  20. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I think this is a great idea, though! I wouldn't assume that the charities have thought of it - people often forget about local coverage and with ME/CFS I think we tend to think that the only people who will support us are ourselves. I think it is worth contacting the WPI and CAA to suggest that they do this.

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