April 17, 2012

New Groupon Site Allows Charities to Update Donors

With the unveiling of a new Web site, charities now have a better way to tell subscribers of Groupon, the popular discount and deals site, how their money has made a difference.

Groupon Grassroots has replaced the G-Team name and online portal that simply allowed charities to learn how to get their cause in front of Groupon subscribers. Such online "daily deals" have become an increasingly popular fundraising method among nonprofit causes.

The new site has the same features, but charity officials can now also write updates on the projects that people have financed by buying Groupon "deals." The updates will also allow potential donors to find charities or projects to support in their community.  "It's an easy way for people to see the collective impact that they're having," says Patty Huber, manager of Groupon Grassroots.

Groupon officials saw the popularity of its charity deals increase since starting G-Team in July 2010: In total, 674 campaigns have raised more than $3-million from some 100,000 supporters. Donations through Groupon's offers typically averaged $2,000 per charity. (All of the past campaigns, from around the country, are now archived on the Grassroots site.)

Ms. Huber says Groupon supporters were clamoring for information about the difference their money made to the charities and projects they helped support. Some charities didn't have a convenient way to inform those Groupon donors because the deals site doesn't have to provide e-mail addresses of donors.

Groupon Grassroots aims to change that, Ms. Huber says. "This is an effective way to engage people online and connect with new supporters," she says.

With its announcement of the name change, Groupon Grassroots will be giving away $1,000 grants to 50 environmentally friendly fundraising campaigns around the country celebrating Earth Day.

Send an e-mail to Raymund Flandez.