Groupon Movember 2012

How Groupon and LivingSocial are raising millions for charity using social media

Julia Claire Campbell Nonprofits, Online Fundraising, Social Media 3 Comments

DGroupon Movember 2012aily Deal sites have been getting slammed in the press, in the stock market and from businesses who claim they are destroying certain industries.

The pros of using a Daily Deal site to grow your business, attract new customers and create social media buzz are many. But the cons are numerous as well.

What if Daily Deal sites could be used for good – to collect donations and raise awareness for nonprofits and causes?

That’s exactly what LivingSocial and Groupon aim to do with their new philanthropic initiatives.

Today I received an email with a LivingSocial “deal“:

Donate $5 to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, and Toys”R”Us, LivingSocial, and other corporate partners will match this year’s donations up to $1 million, doubling your contribution.

LivingSocial Marine Toys for Tots Foundation - $5 for $10 Donation to Toys for Tots-094144

Of course, when you make your donation, you can tweet it, email it and post it on Facebook, increasing the reach and virality of the campaign. Brilliant!

Today’s offer for marks LivingSocial’s second partnership with a national nonprofit. Their first partnership was a March 2011 deal to support the American Red Cross’ disaster-relief efforts in Japan. That deal resulted in more than $2 million in donations.

Groupon has also been very busy making their charitable mark through partnerships and promotion of various causes and nonprofit organizations.

On Earth Day this year, Groupon launched Groupon Grassroots, described as “a new way to discover local causes, rally together, and lend a helping hand. Grassroots supporters can positively impact their communities in ways not possible by themselves, including organizing volunteer coastal cleanups or planting an orchard of fruit trees.”

Some of their featured campaigns include:

  • Pepsi matched up to $250,000 in donations for Feeding America, helping the organization provide 11,897 families of four with two weeks worth of food and making this one of the most successful campaigns to date.
  • Chiquita Banana matched up to $25,000 in donations for The Cure Starts Now, helping the foundation give Monkey in My Chair kits to 731 pediatric cancer patients. Each kit contains a stuffed monkey stand-in that helps children undergoing cancer treatment stay connected with their classmates.
  • Kaplan Early Learning Center matched up to $400 in donations for Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers – Denver, allowing the Montessori school for low-income families to purchase 127 books and jump-start their own children’s library.

This month, the Groupon team blogged about their support for Movember, a popular international fundraiser held to “change the face of men’s health”.

Yesterday Groupon announced The Big Give, to be held in conjunction with the inaugural #GivingTuesday™ on November 27, 2012. #GivingTuesday is a national social media campaign that aims to counterbalance the gluttony and consumerism of the holidays by encouraging a national day of giving to begin the season.

Groupon The Big Give

As part of 2012 The Big Give, Groupon Grassroots will feature a six-week series of campaigns that started this past Monday and will run through December 26.

Throughout the six-week series, you can give $10 or more to their selected national nonprofits. Each campaign has a matching corporate partner, which doubles the impact of all contributions.

Another great gift choice for the holidays is the option to gift your donation by clicking on “Give this Groupon as a Gift” at checkout.

With millions of people signed up to get LivingSocial and Groupon daily emails and with thousands following them on social media, these campaigns are sure to make a huge impact. The ease of donating + the ease of sharing with friends on social media sites = online fundraising success!

I love seeing this innovative marriage of social media, email marketing and charitable giving.

What do you think of the daily deal sites jump into charitable giving? Will you be giving a gift or making a donation this year through these sites? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section or on my Facebook page. Thanks for reading! 

Comments 3

  1. Ari Herzog

    All the power to them — but not for me. I’ve never used Groupon or their ilk. I paid for a twofer deal on Google Offiers earlier this year; but that’s it.

    I think if people can choose the charity it would work, or if the company (not Groupon) can choose the charity, but if it’s preassigned, it won’t work as well.

    1. Post
      Julia Claire Campbell

      But the power of it is that Groupon chooses the charity and uses their huge email list and large social media following to get people to support it. It wouldn’t work nearly as well if it’s diluted.

      1. Ari Herzog

        By analogy, I recently bought a new Subaru — and received a survey link to complete with the incentive the company would donate $X to a charity I choose. But I can’t choose the charity; only select a button corresponding to one of a few national charities. That’s not asking me to choose who to get money, but who to choose according to them.

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