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Vote Now, Vote Daily, Vote from Anywhere – Photo Finish in the Nature’s Bounty Charity Contest!

by Sasha

Real mud flying while we’re neck and neck! Photo by Paolo Camera on flickr.

Quick! You have 27 seconds to win $5,000 for an ME/FM charity!

So please – don’t think! – do this now and then come back and read about why you did it:

  • Click on ‘N’ to get the list of charities beginning with ‘N’.
  • The second one down is the National ME/FM Action Network. Click on the ‘Vote’ button.
  • Enter your email address in the box that pops up, do the Captcha thing to prove you’re not a robot, tick the box accepting the terms and conditions and hit the ‘Vote’ button.

Done! OK, maybe that 27 seconds comes with practice but it’s daily voting, so please keep coming back until the contest ends on 29th March.

So, why did you do that? Because the Action Network, which is Canada’s main ME/FM charity, is in a close fight for third place in the contest. Third place wins $5,000: no prizes for fourth.

Over the past few days we’ve been in third place, been in fourth, been back in third and so on as we’ve fought a close battle with a charity that looks after birds. Yes, birds. Nothing wrong with animal charities but surely we are every bit as appealing so let’s fight for that cash!

The Action Network is well worth supporting. They led the development of the Canadian Consensus Criteria for diagnosis, from which we’ve all benefited, they promote research and they support 750,000 patients in Canada through advocacy, education and information.

Thanks to an all-out effort across the community – particularly the ME/CFS Fundraising Group on Facebook, which includes members of Phoenix Rising – we’re getting about 1,100 votes a day and we need to keep pulling in more voters.

You can sign up to a free, daily reminder to vote here. It’s a Google Group so if you have a gmail address then you can go straight in and sign up. If you don’t have a gmail address you can get the reminder sent to your existing email address (Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc.), but to set that up you will first need to open a Google account by signing up quick and painlessly here. Then go to the Google Group and join it.

So, as we enter the final days of the contest, please vote, tell your friends to vote and keep voting daily!

Phoenix Rising costs money to run and needs your donations to keep it going. Without you we can’t continue to serve you and the community. Please donate!

donate

{ 71 comments… add one }

  • snowathlete March 27, 2013, 7:39 pm

    i agree Mark, assuming the bounty are bothered about reviewing the votes and adjusting it. lets hope they do

  • Sasha March 27, 2013, 8:49 pm
    Mark

    Whenever we've boosted our vote and overtaken them, increasing our daily vote, there has been a response within 24 hours which looks almost as if they've conjured 100, 200 or in this case 1000 one-off votes out of thin air.

    Which begs the question, why not conjure another load and bag the $20k first prize?

    All very weird. :ill:

  • Little Bluestem March 28, 2013, 9:48 am

    We got about 100 more votes that the birds yesterday. (We had an increase, they stayed the same.) That means that the gap closed by about 100 votes. They are still about 900 votes ahead of us.

  • helen41 March 31, 2013, 3:05 am

    we all need to remember that we also have almost 30,000 ballots into the random draw.
    Some screenshots of people mentioning voting with multiple accounts were sent to the sponsor (one even mentioned voting 50 times and making new accounts as he did). Whether the sponsor chooses to address it or not is another matter.
    In the end, whatever happens, we had integrity in this contest, and that is worth a lot too.

  • Little Bluestem April 1, 2013, 6:43 am

    The site now says that the votes are being reviewed, rather than counted.

  • SickOfSickness April 1, 2013, 7:53 am

    I emailed them to say Mountainaire votes looked suspicious. They have a link to email them. http://www.sharethebounty.ca/charities.php

  • WillowJ April 1, 2013, 8:30 am

    The sponsor has been contacted and supplied with screenshots. I am not sure flooding them with mail is the wisest course at this point in time. helen41, what do you think ?

  • Kina April 1, 2013, 2:03 pm
    WillowJ

    The sponsor has been contacted and supplied with screenshots. I am not sure flooding them with mail is the wisest course at this point in time. helen41, what do you think ?

    Just to note, Nature's Bounty does log your IP address when visiting their site. Every time a voting ballot was filled out and submitted, the IP address attached to the email address would have been logged. So for all the people that were cheating using multiple email addresses, if they did this without using some kind of software that hides your IP, they will be caught and their votes should be disqualified.

    I have a screen shot of the votes at 11:59 when the voting was supposed to be over and will be interested to compare it to their final official tally.

    I think we really don't need to advise them of any cheating because they have been advised and their review will hopefully deal with the cheaters.

    Kina.

  • Kina April 2, 2013, 1:49 pm

    I just wanted to add, I started a conversation with the people at Nature's Bounty regarding the issue of cheating at about week 3. I just received a reply from them that said:

    Good Morning Kina,

    During the review period we will be going to lengths to ensure the votes counted are fair. We will be compiling a list of submitted emails and disqualifying any repeaters or illegitimate emails. We appreciate your concern and will do everything possible to maintain fairness.

    Thanks

    That's a very positive response.

  • Sasha April 2, 2013, 1:55 pm
    Kina

    I just wanted to add, I started a conversation with the people at Nature's Bounty regarding the issue of cheating at about week 3. I just received a reply from them that said: […]
    That's a very positive response.

    Thanks for doing that, Kina – that's very reassuring for all of us! I think that could wipe quite a number of votes off the bird charity.

  • WillowJ April 2, 2013, 11:35 pm

    Thank you, Kina :)

    Kina

    I just wanted to add, I started a conversation with the people at Nature's Bounty regarding the issue of cheating at about week 3. I just received a reply from them that said:

    That's a very positive response.

    hopefully that doesn't mean disqualifying entirely people who lost track of time and accidentally voted too soon on occasion, but I think the software prevented this anyway (at least if one used the same computer)

  • helen41 April 5, 2013, 1:25 am

    I think they made it pretty clear they will not address the problem. I guess it is their contest, their money, their decision. We sent a few screenshots, including one of someone saying they were making up emails and voting 50 times a day and they responded "Thank you for your e-mail. We understand your concern and, should the program be run again we will be looking deeper into the charities submitted and how the contest is run and making a few changes, and will keep your comments in mind."
    We were ethical, and we voted honestly. I have my fingers crossed that we may have won a random prize

  • SickOfSickness April 5, 2013, 1:49 am
    helen41

    "Thank you for your e-mail. We understand your concern and, should the program be run again we will be looking deeper into the charities submitted and how the contest is run and making a few changes, and will keep your comments in mind."

    They replied the same to me, and I thought it sounded like they won't address the problem too.

    I have hope because of how they replied to Kina. In my reply they also said "We will be checking over email addresses to ensure legitimacy."

  • Kina April 5, 2013, 2:33 am
    helen41

    I think they made it pretty clear they will not address the problem. I guess it is their contest, their money, their decision. We sent a few screenshots, including one of someone saying they were making up emails and voting 50 times a day and they responded "Thank you for your e-mail. We understand your concern and, should the program be run again we will be looking deeper into the charities submitted and how the contest is run and making a few changes, and will keep your comments in mind."
    We were ethical, and we voted honestly. I have my fingers crossed that we may have won a random prize

    I got that reponse too and my response to them was that I wasn't referring to future contests. I said I hoped they took the various screenshots they were sent seriously as it was unfair to those charities that voted honestly. I also mentioned that their privacy policy states they log IP addresses during voting and a comparison of IP addresses and email addresses would reveal cheating. I thought when I received the response Helen41 got that it was probably a standard response. I believe they are going to address the issue of cheating from the response I got in the last email. They are bound by Canadian (federal) laws that define the running of such contests and if they allow cheating, this would not be favourable for them from a reputation standpoint and a legal standpoint. If it came out that they awarded prize monies to a charity that came by the money dishonestly, this would not be to their benefit. I also doubt they would want to be investigated by the Federal government, so I believe they will be looking at the results very seriously. I am sure their legal department has instructed them to answer any emails regarding cheating the way they have been.

    That's my take.

    Kina

  • Mark April 5, 2013, 3:26 am

    The biggest thing I would want to highlight to them is to investigate the graph of the number of votes per day, the overall pattern of voting. The way it seemed to me, is that whenever we organised something that boosted our votes by a few hundred per day, and briefly took the lead, they immediately responded with one-off large jumps in their vote that preserved a consistent margin of a lead. I don't know how that was happening. From how it seemed to me, I would expect a graph of their votes per day to show sudden and unusual spikes of activity that weren't sustained as an ongoing increase in the number of votes per day.

  • Little Bluestem April 5, 2013, 4:09 am

    There website currently says the votes are being reviewed – not counted, but reviewed. I take that to mean they are looking for illegal votes.

  • Sasha April 25, 2013, 9:30 pm

    Just heard that Nature's Bounty awarded the National ME/FM Action Network a prize of $5,000!

    Man, I'm really happy about that. All that voting! That daily voting! They must have seen we were desperate. 😀

    Well done and thank you to everyone who voted and roped in their friends and stuck with it, day in, day out.

    This has made my day! :)

  • Sasha April 25, 2013, 9:33 pm

    We crossed! Well done to the Facebook Fundraising Group especially, who really put their backs into this – and thanks to you, Joel, and the others on this thread who kept bumping it up the list and encouraging others to vote. Lots of people put lots of work into this and it was a real team effort.

  • helen41 April 25, 2013, 9:35 pm
    Sasha

    Just heard that Nature's Bounty awarded the National ME/FM Action Network a prize of $5,000!

    Man, I'm really happy about that. All that voting! That daily voting! They must have seen we were desperate. 😀

    Well done and thank you to everyone who voted and roped in their friends and stuck with it, day in, day out.

    This has made my day! :)

    wonderful!

  • snowathlete April 25, 2013, 11:04 pm
    Sasha

    We crossed! Well done to the Facebook Fundraising Group especially, who really put their backs into this – and thanks to you, Joel, and the others on this thread who kept bumping it up the list and encouraging others to vote. Lots of people put lots of work into this and it was a real team effort.

    Thanks Sasha, but dont forget yourself! You wrote (Two?) articles to get the word out and I'm just an apprentice when it comes to bumping these important threads – you're the master! :thumbsup:

  • Sasha April 25, 2013, 11:08 pm
    snowathlete

    Thanks Sasha, but dont forget yourself! You wrote (Two?) articles to get the word out and I'm just an apprentice when it comes to bumping these important threads – you're the master! :thumbsup:

    Thanks – loads easier when there's not just me keeping things visible, though!

    Really pleased with this result. :)