Seven Lowcountry nonprofit agencies are in the running for part of $2.5 million being given away in the second round of the Chase Community Giving Campaign, which starts Thursday.

The seven groups -- Charleston Animal Society, Coastal Conservation League, Crisis Ministries, Historic Charleston Foundation, Pet Helpers, South Carolina Aquarium and Water Missions International -- beat out thousands of other charities nationwide to receive enough votes in the first round of the Facebook contest to each earn $25,000 as one of the top 100 vote-getting charities.

In the second round, the 25 charities with the most votes will receive between $20,000 and $500,000, based on votes. The winners will be announced May 26.

To launch the contest, representatives from each organization will gather at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Charleston Visitors Center at 375 Meeting St. to urge metro residents to vote and say how they would spend the money if they win.

To vote, from Thursday through Wednesday, go to