July 27, 2011

G-Team: Groupon’s program to support causes

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How the power of collective buying is helping local cause campaigns around the country

Guest post by Patty Huber
G-Team Manager, Groupon

By now you’ve likely heard of Groupon, which allows consumers to get local deals on the best things to do, eat, see and buy in their own cities.

But do you know about G-Team, which uses the same concept of a collective buying power to connect people to causes in their local communities? G-Team, Groupon’s main philanthropic program, launched a year ago this month in Chicago and was modeled on the original vision for Groupon as a platform for collective action and fundraising.

G-Team runs campaigns that focus on project-specific ideas, allowing participants to see tangible results in their community.

G-Team provides a platform for organizations and causes to garner the support of their local community and even solicit money for campaigns or project-based initiatives. Through the G-Team page, nonprofits, cause organizations and individuals can apply to have their campaign featured.

G-Team runs campaigns that focus on project-specific ideas, allowing participants to see tangible results in their community. When a campaign goes live, the featured organization is encouraged to gather as many participants as possible to reach the tipping point. If enough people buy in, the project is funded and the campaign organizer receives a check to accomplish his or her intended goal.

G-Team campaigns are currently operating in 12 Groupon markets, and each week a new campaign is selected to be featured on the daily deal site for its city. The Groupon markets with G-Team campaigns include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. In the coming months, G-Team will be expanding to about 70 more Groupon markets.

Watch the video below to learn more about what G-Team does and how it can benefit your cause:

G-Team eyes 2,000 campaigns in the coming year

The photo at top shows an example of a recent G-Team campaign for the Save-A-Pet Adoption Center. It raised enough to supply a week of food for 1,532 dogs and cats, which freed up additional funds for other rehabilitation services. Put another way, for every $700 G-Team raised, 100 dogs and cats were fed for one week. In this way, each subscriber was able to identify the tangible results of their $7 dollar donation to the Save-A-Pet Adoption Center. With the tipping point set at 100 buyers, the power of collective action proved to be an important motivation toward reaching the set goal.

Since its launch last year, G-Team has run 217 campaigns, ranging from funding a local after-school program, to building a community garden and collecting supplies for a local food bank.

G-Team has a unique model for supporting philanthropic fundraising, civic engagement and social events. We do not however, support fundraising that is intended for general operating funds. Organizations interested in participating can apply to be featured through a link on the G-Team home page. The application is a short process in which the organization identifies and provides information about its project-specific needs. G-Team coordinators then review the application and determine if the campaign is a good fit for the G-Team model. With our expansion into new markets, we hope to be able to feature more than 2,000 campaigns in the coming year.

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