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News from the Case Foundation and what people are talking about in the world of giving, tech and everything in between.
Facebook Deals There has been much buzz around the recent announcement of Facebook Deals, which allows users to receive discounts when they “Check-in” to Places on their mobile devices. The new platform allows users to find deals based on location, interact with businesses, receive exclusive promotions, and even donate to charity. For example, outdoor equipment retailer REI is donating $1 to a local conservation nonprofit when you check in at its stores. This article from Promo Magazine has a good round-up of the different ways companies are jumping on board to experiment with Facebook Deals.
While many articles have speculated on the negative impact that this latest foray by Facebook might have on location-based and group couponing organizations, some are more skeptical. As this article on Technorati notes, “Consumers might not think to check-in while they are shopping at the Gap, for example. Whatever offer awaits their check-in can't just live in a mobile device. It has to be publicized and marketed at all customer touch points - window displays, circulars, check-out advertisements, etc. This is why no matter what a brand does online, there must be an offline component tied to it.” Greg Sterling shares a similar sentiment in this piece, but as TechCrunch noted late last week, window stickers that prominently advertise a Facebook Deal have begun to arrive at retailers.
So what does the rollout of Facebook Deals mean for the nonprofit sector? As John Haydon notes on SocialBrite, Facebook Deals offers a "Charity Deal" category - which presents an opportunity for nonprofits to partner with local retailers and create deals that incent customers to check-in on Facebook Places so that a donation will be made to that nonprofit. What other opportunities are there to use Facebook Deals "for good," and is there an opportunity to encourage more charitable giving through other location-based services?
Extraordinaries launch Sparked.com We've always loved the concept behind The Extraordinaries, an iPhone app that allows you to find micro-volunteering opportunities. So we were excited last week to learn about the launch of Sparked.com, a new site from the Extraordinaries team that takes the micro-volunteering concept and applies it to a pro-bono, skills-based environment. Or, as our CEO Jean Case put it, an "eHarmony-like tool to match professionals with an array of volunteer projects that tap skills and interest." In a guest post on Beth's Blog, Sparked.com community manager Shauna Carey shares more insight about the platform and their vision for creating the "world’s first skills-based micro-volunteering network." The Wild Apricot blog also covered the site's launch.
Other stories and links of note from the week
- Our chairman, Steve Case, was in New Orleans on Tuesday for a bipartisan policy summit hosted by James Carville and Mary Matalin to help kick off a new initiative, the Democracy Project, which will bring diverse voices together to support efforts to improve the ability of government to grapple with the nation’s challenges - starting with strengthening civil discourse in government and Congressional redistricting reform. Read more about the Democracy Project here.
- A recent study by communications firm Edelman found that UAE residents are the most charitable, with 86% of consumers in the nation saying they donate to a cause at least annually, and 72% volunteer at least once a year.
- A cool infographic from the folks at GOOD showing what help has been sent to the military at home and abroad due to the Pepsi Refresh Project awards.