Groupon Joins in Charity Drive

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The fast growing and popular deal site Groupon has joined Charity Drive, to help groups of people get together to raise money for charity.

It is a new kind of philanthropy — the digital version of the public radio pledge drive, when businesses offer to match listener donations for a period of time.

The Pershing Square Foundation, which is affiliated with Pershing Square Capital Management, an investment firm, gave a matching grant of $400,000, and DonorsChoose.org’s board of directors pitched in another $100,000. Groupon users can buy credits for half price and the foundation will match the rest — a $20 credit goes for $10, a $100 credit goes for $50 and so on. DonorsChoose.org aims to give $1 million to schools through the partnership.

On DonorsChoose.org, donors could buy 100 writing journals for a teacher in an impoverished part of Nevada, for instance, or three calculators and batteries for an algebra teacher in Mississippi.

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Twitter’s foray into social good efforts with the launch of Hope140

Last month saw the latest Twitter foray into social good efforts with the launch of the new Hope140 initiative. Its #EndMalaria campaign over the past week featured the TwitPay platform for donations, creating a new call to action for Hope140. Twitter users participated in World Malaria Day by retweeting and donating $10. The Case Foundation matched donations with a $25,000 grant.

#EndMalaria demonstrated that Twitter can be more than an awareness mechanism for non-profits. Further, Twitter is using its Promoted Tweets feature as public service vehicle, launching with two charities; Room to Read, which is campaigning to promote the building of their 10,000th library, and Partners in Health. Now Twitter’s non-profit offering provides comprehensive capabilities, from click-throughs and retweets to bona fide donations and public service announcements.

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