July 27, 2011

G-Team: Groupon’s program to support causes



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. Continue reading

January 27, 2011

Philanthroper: The Groupon of crowdsourced social giving

Guest post by Alex Wilhelm
The Next Web

Philanthroper, a Chicago startup that is focusing on improving the world of charity, is a wonderful mixture of Groupon, Woot, and the spirit of giving.

Every day Philanthroper works with one charity, and spurs as many people as it can to give a single dollar to that group. However, to avoid losing all of that money in transaction expenses, the company has teamed up with a second Chicago company, called mPayy, to handle their payments.

mPayy takes one penny per dollar donated, and Philanthroper takes none, meaning that 99% of donated money reaches the charity directly. PayPal and other solutions at the $1 dollar level would extract 30 cents or more. Philanthroper hopes to sell ads on their site to cover their expenses. Continue reading

August 20, 2010

Blissmo: A new way to connect with sustainability


JD LasicaYou may have heard of deal-of-the-day site Groupon — Get 50 to 90 percent off the best stuff your city has to offer! Hot deals in Chicago, New York, Boston! — and the breed of “offertising” sites that aim to make people break their habits and check out a new place. What if this model were applied toward getting people to buy more sustainable products?

That is the mission of San Francisco-based blissmo (tagline: buy good, feel great), which offers one-time discounts to certified sustainable and/or organic businesses. They recently launched their service and are currently featuring 50-percent-off promotions on Kaia Foods, a national organic food company, and wines at J Vineyards and Winery (see above), a certified sustainable vineyard in Sonoma, Calif.

blissmo-logoFrom the perspective of businesses, offertising sites are a good way to gain new customers without requiring any upfront cash, as with traditional advertising. While we don’t yet know how effective these deals will be in retaining repeat customers over the long term, blissmo — run by entrepreneur Sundeep Ahuja, a friend — is positioned to be a better ally for green businesses, as they’re delivering customers who are already predisposed to buying sustainable goods and products.

We’ll be keeping a watch to see where all this goes. Meantime, I’m trying to shake the word “offertising” out of my head. Continue reading