Does your child’s soccer team need cash? Or a kidney? New daily-deal site funds ‘micro-causes.’

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DealsThatMatter.com launches its beta site in Salt Lake City, Utah, delivering over $6000 to local micro-causes in its first 3 weeks.

Just like YouTube made it possible for anyone’s home-made movie to be seen by millions, DealsThatMatter is making it possible for anyone with a worthy cause to be the beneficiary of millions of dollars in online sales.

Heart-disease patient Holly McKell knew she had supportive friends, but she didn’t expect any money from them, let alone $400.  But that’s what she’s received (so far) after one of her friends decided to set up a “Help Holly McKell” fundraising account at DealsThatMatter.com.  The new Utah-based website doesn’t accumulate donations; Instead they offer a discounted deal on local business everyday, and causes like Holly’s get a 100% of the proceeds in their first 30 days with DealsThatMatter.

After 10 months of development DealsThatMatter.com launched just 3 weeks ago in its beta location, Salt Lake City. Already $6,000 has been raised for various causes, great and small. And all without anyone donating anything. By combining the successful offerings of ‘daily deal’ websites with cause-promoting social networking tools, it’s creative a new alternative to fundraising as we know it.

Daily Deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial have created the phenomenon known as ‘O2O’ or ‘Online to Offline Marketing.’  By combining the viral-ness of online marketing with offline services (such as restaurants, spa retreats, entertainment and more) this O2O space has been a spectacular success story for many start-ups across the world.  Jeff C. Hays, President of DealsThatMatter.com, recognized that this phenomenon had the potential to fuel a new kind of sustainable funding for causes.

“O2O has helped people re-connect with the restaurant down the corner, and the mom-and-pop store across the street.  DealsThatMatter.com is taking the next step, so that it can help fund your kid’s soccer team, and help lower the costs of your sister’s medical bills.  It’s simply another step towards the fruits of the information revolution benefiting you and your circle of friends more meaningfully.”

DealsThatMatter.com has gone beyond an old-school partnership with a well-known cause.  Instead they provide a platform where anyone can set up an account to accumulate funds for any cause.  DealsThatMatter’s Executive VP James Saccomano asks, “Why should only non-profit organizations get corporate sponsors, when the family who’s trying to raise money for their dog’s operation is restricted to jars at gas station cash registers?  Just like YouTube made it possible for anyone’s home-made movie to be seen by millions, DealsThatMatter is making it possible for anyone with a worthy cause to be the beneficiary of millions of dollars in online sales.”

This is made possible by a proprietary ‘Do-It-Yourself’ technology developed by Sponsored Giving, a sister-company of DealsThatMatter.com. This technology not only tracks the percentage of the sales that are directed toward the causes, but is also linked to Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms, which makes it quick and easy for someone starting a new cause to get the word out.  

With the exception of monitoring for offensive material, DealsThatMatter doesn’t choose what causes are promoted on their platform.  “We provide the great daily deal, and you pick the cause that should get a portion of the proceeds,” Saccomano says.  “If there’s a cause you are more passionate about than any of the causes you see in our menu, add your cause to the system and it will be the beneficiary of your purchase.  Then spread the word and tell your friends about the deal of the day, and when they buy, the proceeds will go toward your cause too.” 

Normally DealsThatMatter donates 15% of their sales to the cause selected by the customer.  But to get a cause’s campaign off to a great start, DealsThatMatter directs 100% of their proceeds to the cause during it’s first 30 days on the platform.  "No, we don't make any money off of this at first," Hays says. "But we look at this as our marketing cost. We'd rather our advertising money goes toward causes that our customers are passionate about instead of going toward online advertisers."

Many non-profit groups point to ‘list fatigue’ as a growing obstacle they face as they seek to raise money. “With so many worthy causes in the world, it would be overwhelming thinking that the only way you could help them would be through donations,” Saccomano says.  “DealsThatMatter was created to generate ‘sustainable giving.’ Rather than looking for donations, we take advantage of normal everyday spending habits to create money. There's no asking for help.  This method of funding is particularly advantageous in these cash-strapped economic times.”

Holly McKell is particularly grateful for this new method of giving. “Not only was I excited but I was deeply touched when I received my first check and found that so many people were helping me. I am proud to be associated with a company that is not only selling deals, but also giving back to people and businesses like me, that are just trying to keep our heads above water.”

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Deidre Amick