Groupon is one of many companies in the Chicago area to take advantage of the Live to Support (LTS) Chicago recreational sports league. The organization runs soccer, volleyball, flag-football and kickball leagues whose registration fees contribute to local charities.
LTS was founded by Mark Biery in July 2010, in partnership with Chris DuCharme and Ken Natoli. After being asked to participate in a recreational sport to earn a t-shirt, Biery had the idea to forgo the t-shirt, trophy or participation medal and give the proceeds to a local charity.
He breaks down the registrations fees collected, using 50% of them for field expenses, 20% on insurance and splitting the remaining 30% on running the business and giving to the charities. Though the donations can range from 5-100% of the profit, most leagues donate 7%. In addition, the winning team presents a check to their charity, with a minimum of $250.
Groupon employees competed against other local businesses in a softball league last August. They won $1000 for their charity, the Chicago Lights Urban Farm. This is one of four championships for Groupon who recently sponsored Team Blitzkrieg for the Music and Beats Indoor Dodgeball league. The team played for By the Hand Club for Kids and will play for them again in the upcoming indoor volleyball league.
It’s easy to get involved. Basically you go the the website, sign your team up for a league and choose from a list of charities in a pull-down menu. Charities include Dreams for Kids, Leukemia Research Foundation, Autism Speaks, Big Brothers Big Sister and more.
LTS set a goal of donating $75,000 in 2012. The company not only met their goal, but they beat it, having raised over $83,000. Charity leagues like LTS are popping up all across the country.
Source: Groupon Grassroots