Bullseye Gives by Ryan Skordahl

Brief History of Target

Target Corporation was founded in 1946 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and since that same year Target has been donating 5% of its income which is about 3 million dollars a week to charities. But during May of 2009, for two weeks Target gave the power to the people by allowing fans of Target via Facebook to vote where they wanted the money donated to. This campaign was known as Bullseye Gives was considered highly successful. Using simple but smart integration with Facebook, Target was able to promote their brand all the while giving to the community. 

What is Bullseye Gives

Bullseye Gives is a campaign that allowed people to vote via Facebook for their favorite charity to receive a percentage of the donations over the course of the two weeks in May. Target asked all  Facebook members to visit it’s company page at facebook.com/target and vote for one charity a day between May 10th and May 25th. Target wasn’t the only one promoting this campaign. The American Red Cross made their own commercial explaining what they do but while the commercial played the link to Target’s Facebook page was present and clearly visible throughout the entire commercial. This can be considered essentially free advertising for Target. 

Here is a brief video that will help explain what Bullseye Gives is all about.

The Charities

There were 10 national charities that were selected to receive donations from Target but what percentage that each charity received was to be determined at the end of the campaign by the voters. The percentage of votes that each charity received would correlate with a portion of the 3 million dollars. These charities were:

  • American Red Cross
  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation
  • Feeding America
  • HandsOn Network/Points of Light Institute
  • Kids In Need Foundation
  • Operation Gratitude
  • Parent Teacher Association
  • National Park Foundation
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • The Salvation Army

How to vote

By visiting facebook.com/target fans of Target would be able to vote for the charity of their choice.


After selecting a charity of your choice the web page would move to the current results of all the votes and would show you which charity is receiving the majority of votes in real time. 

When you move on from the real time results you were giving the option to post on your wall that you voted on facebook.com/target and took part in the Bullseye Gives campaign.


Now any and everyone can see that you took part in the Bullseye gives campaign and may feel compelled or interested in researching or even taking part of the campaign themselves.


Here is a flow chart of a voters experience through the voting process.



After the two weeks of the campaign had ended, more than 167,000 fans of Target had visited the site and 291,399 votes were tallied.

  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – 77,427 votes (26.6%) = $797,123
  • American Red Cross – 77,118 votes (26.5%) = $793,942
  • The Salvation Army – 38,004 votes (13%) = $391,258
  • Operation Gratitude – 22,627 votes (7.8%) = $232,948
  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation – 19,264 votes (6.6%) = $198,326
  • Feeding America – 15,574 votes (5.3%) = $160,336
  • HandsOn Network/Points of Light Institute – 11,378 votes (4.0%) = $120,845
  • Parent Teacher Association – 10,904 votes (3.7%) = $112,259
  • National Park Foundation – 9553 votes (3.3%) = $98,350
  • Kids In Need Foundation – 9,190 votes (3.2%) = $94,613

(“More Than 167,000 Fans Flock to Target Facebook Page Helping Donate $3 Million to Ten Charities.” A Bullseye View. Target, 22 May 2009. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.)

Public Reaction

The reaction from the public about Target’s Bullseye Gives campaign was a very positive reaction. Not only were inspired voters able to pick a charity for a big name corporation to donate, but an online community was created where voters could share their personal stories and experiences. As a side affect of this campaign over 2,200 fans of Target via Facebook clicked through to the VolunteerMarch service page to find volunteer programs and causes in their local communities. 

“On behalf of our patients and families, a heartfelt thank you to Target and the thousands of Facebook members who voted for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the Bullseye Gives campaign,” said David L. McKee, chief operating officer and interim CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. “This remarkable program gave the online community a simple way to provide much-needed funds to many worthy causes. We are humbled by the incredible show of support for our lifesaving mission.”

(“More Than 167,000 Fans Flock to Target Facebook Page Helping Donate $3 Million to Ten Charities.” A Bullseye View. Target, 22 May 2009. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.)

Brand Promotion

The Bullseye Gives campaign was a huge boost to the Target brand. There are no statistics on how this campaign affected profit post-campaign but the corporations Facebook page numbers skyrocketed.

  • Target Facebook Page added 97,091 new fans
  • During the campaign, the Target Facebook Page increased daily views by 4,800%*
  • Target Facebook Page experienced a 3,000% surge in wall posts, with more than 3,000 personal stories shared throughout the campaign* 

* as of May 2009

Nearly gaining 100,000 new fans in two weeks is surely going to increase future guests visits to stores and increase profit. Target accomplished this brand promotion and what can only be assumed or implied, future profit increase by doing what they have always done but just adding the communities choice to the equation. 

“At Target, our reputation is built on our legacy of giving, and Bullseye Gives is an incredible opportunity for us to continue to engage Target guests and the online community,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. “This is a unique way to help raise awareness of the important work these deserving charities do and increase localized volunteerism nationwide.”

(“Target Puts $3 Million in the Hands of Its Fans on Facebook.” A Bullseye View. Target, 11 May 2009. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.)

Signs of Success

This campaign can be considered a success because it ultimately boosted the corporate brand, connected the company and online community, and strengthened Targets bond with the community. Target gave people a great reason to visit their Facebook page by allowing visitors to select a charity of their choice to have a portion of Targets weekly profit to receive. With this Target’s Facebook page increased it’s fans by nearly 100,000 people and daily views by almost 5,000%. This campaign also created an online community that was interested in causes that would strengthen their local communities.

“We’re grateful to the online community for their passionate response to Bullseye Gives and their willingness to share personal stories about why these charities are important to them. We’re excited that all ten amazing charities will receive a generous donation, as well as increased awareness through social networking platforms,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations, Target. “The voices of the online community reinforce that giving to those who need it most is a nationwide priority. We encourage the more than 167,000 voters to continue their support of these organizations or other worthy causes.”

(“More Than 167,000 Fans Flock to Target Facebook Page Helping Donate $3 Million to Ten Charities.” A Bullseye View. Target, 22 May 2009. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.)

Lessons that can be learned from this campaign is that by using  a simple to navigate voting system that is integrated into a commonly used social media platform such as Facebook, one could increase page views exponentially, granted your campaign is for a great cause such as Bullseye Gives. Online communities that can relate to a campaign are more likely to form and promote for you. As a final lesson that can be learned from the Bullseye Gives campaign is that people feel good about giving to charities that help others in need and being a large corporation Target used this not only to promote their brand but promote their image as a corporate citizen that cares for the community.


  1. “Target Puts $3 Million in the Hands of Its Fans on Facebook.” A Bullseye View. Target, 11 May 2009. Web. 24 Sept. 2015. <http://pressroom.target.com/news/online-bullseye-launch&gt;.
  2. Advertising Forensics Episode #5: Target Bullseye Gives. Directed by Dan Hanssel. 2011. Film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYM1JbDNdhw
  3. “More Than 167,000 Fans Flock to Target Facebook Page Helping Donate $3 Million to Ten Charities,” A Bullseye View, 2009. [Online]. Available at: http://pressroom.target.com/news/target-facebook-donate-3-million-to-charities-. [Accessed: Aug-2015].
  4. Saunders, Mark. “Target Bullseye Gives Campaign on Facebook.” Slide Share. 10 Apr. 2010. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <http://www.slideshare.net/Mark5aunders/bullseye-gives-fb&gt;.

Bullseye Gives by Ryan Skordahl

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