May 06, 2011

More Than Discounts: The Connection Between Groupon and Charity

Patty Huber

Groupon, the popular online group-discount site, gets a lot of attention for its deals on sushi and spa treatments. But the site also has strong charitable roots—and big ideas about how it can use its popularity to help raise more money for nonprofits.

Groupon began as an offshoot of The Point, an online-giving platform similar to

And it recently started an effort dubbed "The G-Team" in which Groupon users are encouraged to donate money to help selected charities.

But there's a catch: The selected charities only receive donations if enough donors agree to make a contribution. Charities can apply online.

In the latest episode of Social Good, Allison Fine, the host, interviews G-Team's director, Patty Huber. Ms. Huber describes how the program works, what she's learned from the effort, and why it's important to offer surprises to your fans.

Allison Fine, a nonprofit leader and expert on technology and communications, discusses how charities and foundations can more effectively use social-media tools to spread their messages and raise money. Ms. Fine incorporates suggestions and questions from readers into her podcasts and invites you to e-mail her at Look for new installments on the first Thursday of every month.