Using Groupon to Promote Your Non-Profit
August 18, 2016 Lynette Garet Fundraising 0 Comment
Nonprofits Using Groupon to Build Awareness
At first blush, using Groupon (an online collective buying website) to boost awareness of your nonprofit seems an odd fit. However, Groupon Grassroots, the company’s social change team, turns out to be a very effective and focused way to raise specific project funds and increase your NPO’s presence with local philanthropists.To date, Grassroots has raised more than $8.7 million from 427,828 supporters for 1,576 campaigns.
Grassroots provides—free of charge—campaign development, promotion, consultation and post-campaign guidance, as well as pays the credit card or other payment processing fees. It will even help find sponsorships. It does not take a percentage of funds raised either: 100 percent of all donations go to the NPO, individual community organizer or social venture behind the project.
How it works
Grassroots is selective about the organizations it partners with and the projects it takes on. Projects must be compelling and focus on a specific community need, with a defined and reachable target amount, give or take $500 to $1,000. Potential partners must be verifiable nonprofits, social venture organizations or individual community organizers who have a history of success and a social media following. The company will also want a dedicated point person from your organization to work with its staff.
Unlike similar programs—eScript and BoxTops for Education—Grassroots requires a minimum donor number and/or amount, which is called the tipping point, before the campaign goes live on its site. If the tipping point for your project is twenty-five donors making a $10 donation by a certain date and only twenty-four respond, the project closes and the donors’ credit card is not charged.
The tipping point requirement is an advantage: it forces careful planning, realistic goals and determined execution. While Grassroots staff will write creative material, develop systematic PR guides and underwrite the entire cost of the campaign on its site, the responsibility for a clearly defined project goal that benefits your local community rests with your NPO. Unless and until your campaign reaches the defined tipping point, supporters’ pledges remain unpaid.
Following a successful campaign, Grassroots sends a check for all of the money raised. In addition, it provides communications guidance post-campaign to develop donor relationships.
How you benefit
Groupon’s subscriber base is huge, which translates to a wider audience to hear your message. A Groupon Grassroots campaign not only raises money for your project, but also inspires people in your community to volunteer and raises local awareness of your project, your mission and your NPO.
In 2011, Keep It Clean launched a three-weekend clean up the river event in Chicago that was so wildly successful that KIC went on to become a statewide program. The Arbor Day Foundation raised funds to plant trees in Joplin, Missouri and Colorado and Bread for the City raised money for rooftop gardens in Washington, D.C. to provide fresh food for hungry people. As important as the monies raised and the projects funded, Grassroots puts your NPO in front of millions of people every day. You can’t buy that kind of press.