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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