We know Groupon has gotten some bad press . . . okay, a ton of it – but did you know they have a subdivision entirely focused on doing good?

Yup. Check it out.

Groupon Grassroots strives to “nurture positive change in your own backyard” by providing a way for folks to discover and support local causes.

To date, “876 campaigns have raised $3,643,367 from 125,847 supporters nationwide.”

How did it start? Here’s how:

Long, long ago (2008), Groupon was born out of a group action and fundraising platform called The Point. As the Groupon community grew, our collective consumer power helped people get great deals and discover fun ways to experience their cities.

After a desert vision quest where we invoked our ancestral spirits, we are repossessed with The Point’s powers. Newly inspired, we’ve devised a way to connect Groupon users with their communities in a different way—with a program called G-Team. Groupon followers who want to do good, have fun, and make a real impact could join forces through these campaigns.

The G-Team project was a success and in April, 2012 G-Team relaunched as Groupon Grassroots, a fully integrated part of the Groupon family. Every Groupon Grassroots campaign connects you with enough people to achieve something awesome that you couldn’t have done alone.

This is what Grassroots Campaign Partners get:

  • A creative campaign write-up crafted by our dedicated team of Groupon Grassroots writers
  • A step-by-step promotions and public relations guide to marketing your campaign
  • Phone consultations to discuss the best campaign strategies for your organization
  • Access to the Groupon Merchant Center, where you can monitor campaign performance and analyze demographics
  • A check issued to your organization for 100% of donations received (Groupon absorbs all credit card fees)
  • Post-campaign communications guidance so you can build on your success and establish a long-term relationship with your supporters

And here’s a campaign that’s highlighted right now:

What’s in it for Groupon? Some good PR, we’d imagine!

There IS one catch though. If the organizations do not get enough donations pledged and reach a designated “tipping point,” then none of the donations are processed. Groupon Grassroots doesn’t get this money – it’s just never charged to the folks who have pledged until the cause reaches its tipping point.

So if you’re a “hyper-local organization” trying to make an impact in your community, check out the criteria and apply!

Special thanks to Thea Lux for suggesting this organization for a Pay It Forward Friday post!

(Community service image from Shutterstock)