Social Fundraising Meets Online Couponing?

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06.09.2011By

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Have you or someone you know tried an online-couponing-approach to your social fundraising (think:  Groupon, LivingSocial, etc.)? There are three ways we currently see social fundraising when it comes to online couponing. Below, an example is provided of each type:

  1. Third Party Fundraising. For this, you or your organization would partner with an online coupon site to encourage its network to donate to your cause.
  2. Corporate Social Responsibility. With this approach, a company or organization may make fundraising and supporting nonprofits a key part of their organization and a core function to its business.
  3. Social Good Couponing. You or your organization create your own “online couponing” model as part of your outreach and fundraising strategy.

Third Party Coupon Fundraising

Like any third-party fundraising platform, you want to read the fine print before adopting a coupon-model–such as how much money will go to your cause versus to the business. However, with the growing use of online couponing sites–it’s also important to be aware of the trend and start to think of what you can learn from it to possibly implement into your own strategy.

One example of an online-couponing site offering its network up for fundraising is Groupon’s G-Team initiative. G-Team operates similar to Groupon itself, only instead, users can donate their money or time to local organizations and causes. If enough people commit to the cause or event, then the “deal” is on, people are charged and the project happens. As of March 2011, this initiative was currently already being offered in Chicago, Austin and New York with plans to expand to San Francisco, DC, Los Angeles, Portland, Atlanta, Boston and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Past G-Team examples include:

To learn more about Groupon’s G-Team effort, Patty Huber, Groupon’s Social Innovation Team Lead, recently shared Groupon’s roots in social change and the drive behind G-Team in this interview. However, Groupon isn’t the only player in town. Frank Barry recently published this intriguing article on Mashable earlier this year titled, “Group Buying for Social Good: 7 Sites Using Daily Deals to Give Back.” If your interested in a robust discussion about the pros and cons of an online coupon approach, read this Greater Greater Washington blog post where they debate if the public organization, Capital Bikeshare, got a good deal using Living Social or not.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Like other organizations, we also see online couponing sites using their own platform to support fundraising efforts. For example, LivingSocial used its network and platform to drive fundraising efforts supporting Japan-Earthquake relief efforts.

Social Good Couponing

Here’s our question here at Inspiring Generosity: Who’s implemented their own social good coupon approach using their own platform? While not necessarily for social fundraising, FUSE, a lobbying firm in Washington, recently launched their own advocacy campaign titled “Living Greedy” using a similar online couponing approach that we see being successful with sites like Groupon and LivingSocial.

For us who want to inspire generosity–Have you seen organizations launch similar types of efforts? Right now, it seems like the model of going through a third party is the most popular avenue. But what about integrating aspects of online couponing more into your overall fundraising efforts?

The Secret Sauce

Incentive. An online couponing approach emphasizes the incentives to give. If you give, a goal will be achieved, people will do something, and/or action will be taken. This valuable exchange is often present in any social fundraising efforts–however, here it is tangible.

Have you ever heard this mantra? To create movements and inspire action, you need to make the desired action easy, popular and fun. This is the great advantage of online couponing.

It’s easy: it’s online and the concept of coupons has been around for awhile.

It’s popular: By making it a group activity, people can see the growing popularity of the movement–and invite others to participate right then and there.

It’s fun: There’s usually only a limited time period that the “offer” is on the table. If you’ve taken away nothing else from this post, take away the concept of integrating incentives into your social fundraising efforts.

  • http://johnhaydon.com/ John Haydon

    @socialbttrfly Great post! I bet @joewaters would have some great comments here.

  • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

    @socialbttrfly Great post! I bet @joewaters would have some great comments here.

  • Dori

    Enjoyed the post. Thanks for spotlighting the efforts of social enterprise.

    Monday, http://Wamboo.com rolled out the Wamboost which rewards its members for donating to meet the critical needs of individuals and families. There’s an explainer vid just launched on the How It Works tab on the homepage.

    There are a few differences from other platforms. First, the site doesn’t raise money directly to benefit the nonprofit. Rather, it spotlights those nonprofits (also police & fire departments) willing to sponsor those people in their communities who are facing a crisis by giving them a Champion page and allowing them to post those critical needs for free. Thereby, freeing up the capital those orgs would normally spend to meet those needs because now the needs could be met by the Wamboo Members via crowd aid. Second, the merchant may use the Wamboost builder tool to build their own coupon, purchase as many as they’d like, set the minimum giving threshold to earn their coupon (there are 3 thresholds) and attach it to all or a specific Rally (the item needed by the individual or family). Third, once this thing gets off the ground (the site just came out of beta on Friday), it could be feasible to make a donation of x and receive many times x in return in the form of Wamboosts. Finally, the system is completely transparent. All donations go through PayPal directly to the sponsoring org and they purchase the item or service needed, 100% of kindness received for the Rallies goes to meet that critical need, no part of the donations comes to Wamboo and the site is free to use. Donation progress can be easily seen and tracked. Revenue will be generated by charging the merchant $1.00 per Wamboost coupon created. A great deal for the advertiser, the Member and best of all…..the Wamboosted Rally.

    According to the 2010 Bank of America study on High Net Worth Philanthropy, 84.8% of wealthy donors prefer to give to organizations who help meet basic needs and 47.1% reported donating spontaneously in the last year to help meet a need. (link to report: http://bit.ly/lBKU4V ).

    I realize not all charitable groups directly help people facing a crisis as part of their business model…. but….if they could help someone, it cost them nothing and they might pick up some good press and new supporters in the process, will they? Time will tell.

    Thanks again.  

    • http://www.fly4change.com/ Alexandra Bornkessel

      Dori,

      Thank you for sharing information on this new platform here–sounds like an interesting model. Keep us posted on how the platform evolves. If you have a couple examples of success stories–as well as some examples of lessons learned, I’d be interested in hearing about them. Feel free to contact me at abornkessel@fly4change.com. Thanks for your time and attention here at Inspiring Genorosity!

      Best,
      Alex

  • Dori

    Enjoyed the post. Thanks for spotlighting the efforts of social enterprise.nnMonday, http://Wamboo.com rolled out the Wamboost which rewards its members for donating to meet the critical needs of individuals and families. There’s an explainer vid just launched on the How It Works tab on the homepage.nnThere are a few differences from other platforms. First, the site doesn’t raise money directly to benefit the nonprofit. Rather, it spotlights those nonprofits (also police & fire departments) willing to sponsor those people in their communities who are facing a crisis by giving them a Champion page and allowing them to post those critical needs for free. Thereby, freeing up the capital those orgs would normally spend to meet those needs because now the needs could be met by the Wamboo Members via crowd aid. Second, the merchant may use the Wamboost builder tool to build their own coupon, purchase as many as they’d like, set the minimum giving threshold to earn their coupon (there are 3 thresholds) and attach it to all or a specific Rally (the item needed by the individual or family). Third, once this thing gets off the ground (the site just came out of beta on Friday), it could be feasible to make a donation of x and receive many times x in return in the form of Wamboosts. Finally, the system is completely transparent. All donations go through PayPal directly to the sponsoring org and they purchase the item or service needed, 100% of kindness received for the Rallies goes to meet that critical need, no part of the donations comes to Wamboo and the site is free to use. Donation progress can be easily seen and tracked. Revenue will be generated by charging the merchant $1.00 per Wamboost coupon created. A great deal for the advertiser, the Member and best of all…..the Wamboosted Rally.nnAccording to the 2010 Bank of America study on High Net Worth Philanthropy, 84.8% of wealthy donors prefer to give to organizations who help meet basic needs and 47.1% reported donating spontaneously in the last year to help meet a need. (link to report:u00a0http://bit.ly/lBKU4V ).nnI realize not all charitable groups directly help people facing a crisis as part of their business model…. but….if they could help someone, it cost them nothing and they might pick up some good press and new supporters in the process, will they? Time will tell.nnThanks again. u00a0

    • http://twitter.com/SocialBttrfly Alexandra Bornkessel

      Dori,nnThank you for sharing information on this new platform here–sounds like an interesting model. Keep us posted on how the platform evolves. If you have a couple examples of success stories–as well as some examples of lessons learned, I’d be interested in hearing about them. Feel free to contact me at abornkessel@fly4change.com. Thanks for your time and attention here at Inspiring Genorosity!nnBest,nAlex

  • jeck nicolson

    Groupon isn’t the alone amateur in town. Frank Barry afresh appear this arresting commodity on Mashable beforehand this year titled, “Group Buying for Social Good: 7 Sites Using Daily Deals to Give Back.” If your absorbed in a able-bodied altercation about the pros and cons of an online advertisement approach.

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    • http://www.fly4change.com/ Alexandra Bornkessel

      Jeck–Frank’s article is a good one. It’s one reaason why I linked to it within the article. ;)

  • jeck nicolson

    Groupon isnu2019t the alone amateur in town. Frank Barry afresh appear this arresting commodity on Mashable beforehand this year titled, u201cGroup Buying for Social Good: 7 Sites Using Daily Deals to Give Back.u201d If your absorbed in a able-bodied altercation about the pros and cons of an online advertisement approach.nnhp coupon codes

    • Alex Bornkessel

      Jeck–Frank’s article is a good one. It’s one reaason why I linked to it within the article. ;)

  • http://www.hotcause.com/ Todd Mortenson

    Great article, we’re advancing the movement! – http://www.HotCause.com

    HotCause gives to charitable efforts in several ways.  In fact we give at least 51% of our profit to charitable causes, meaning the communities we serve benefit more than we do.

    We have created a system where we enable charities to offer daily deals of their own and earn 30% of the revenue. We attribute 15% as an affiliate commission and 15% as a gift. (We also allow any for-profit person or organization to become an affiliate and receive 15%.)  Then quarterly, we take a look and calculate how much we have gifted to affiliates and if it’s less than 51%, we then create an online campaign to donate the money to charities that register and receive the most votes.

    We have been receiving a very warm welcome and gearing up for the launch.  Check us out, sign up, we will launch this summer of 2011.

  • http://www.hotcause.com/ Todd Mortenson

    Great article, we’re advancing the movement! – http://www.HotCause.com nnHotCause gives to charitable efforts in several ways.u00a0 In fact we give at least 51% of our profit to charitable causes, meaning the communities we serve benefit more than we do.nnWe have created a system where we enable charities to offer daily deals of their own and earn 30% of the revenue. We attribute 15% as an affiliate commission and 15% as a gift. (We also allow any for-profit person or organization to become an affiliate and receive 15%.)u00a0 Then quarterly, we take a look and calculate how much we have gifted to affiliates and if it’s less than 51%, we then create an online campaign to donate the money to charities that register and receive the most votes.nnWe have been receiving a very warm welcome and gearing up for the launch.u00a0 Check us out, sign up, we will launch this summer of 2011.

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