Deal-a-day sites have been harshly criticized on the grounds that they hurt certain industries. Across the stock market and media, some have claimed that the daily deals model is a virus in the world of business.
While there are many benefits to running a daily deals site, the cons are innumerable. When businesses partner with such sites, they can draw new customers and drum up media attention, but they can also get low-ranked on places such as Yelp.
If something great could truly come from the deal-a-day model, it would all reside in its potential for raising donations and publicizing worldly causes. Those are the exact goals of Groupon and LivingSocial, both of which have branched into philanthropic campaigns.
In partnership with Toys“R”Us, LivingSocial has just launched a fundraiser where users are asked to make donations of $5 to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. All monies raised will be matched by up to $1 million from each corporate partner.
The direct benefits of such pledge drives are twofold: they help good causes while attracting positive press to the sponsoring businesses. Additionally, pledge drives are optimal vehicles for viral exposure across the grapevines of news feeds and social networks.
This latest campaign from LivingSocial is its second such partnering for a nonprofit cause. Last year, the daily deals titan partnered with the American Red Cross to help raise money for relief aid to Japan. That campaign raised more than $2 million for the earthquake-ravaged nation.
Groupon has also been doing its part on the charitable front, forming partnerships and taking up causes on behalf of various nonprofit groups. For Earth Day 2012, the deal-a-day giant launched Groupon Grassroots, which it touted as a new means for users to connect with causes in their local communities. The whole purpose was to mobilize citizens around issues of common concern, from the cleanup of coastlines to the planting of trees and orchards.
Other campaigns that Groupon has featured include a Pepsi partnership for Feeding America and a teaming with Chiquita Banana for The Cure Starts Now. In the former, $250,000 in donations was matched by the partners on behalf of 11,897 hungry households across the U.S. The Chiquita partnership yielded $25,000 in matched monies, which provided Monkey in My Chair kits to more than 700 cancer patients.
Recently, Groupon has thrown its support behind the men’s-health fundraiser Movember and the philanthropy awareness organization Giving Tuesday. Throughout the Christmas shopping season, Groupon Grassroots is holding a series of campaigns entitled The Big Give, in which people are encouraged to donate $10 or more to featured nonprofits. All contribution totals will be matched by the partnered businesses on behalf of great causes.
Despite the criticisms, the daily deals industry has worked some mighty good causes throughout its many corporate partnerships. As millions of new members flock to the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial, the giving is likely to continue for a long time to come.
The partnering of deal-a-day sites, businesses and nonprofit charities could easily be cited as the greatest thing to come from the e-commerce sector.
Source: Business 2 Community