I’m pretty excited about the trend of combining a social good aspect with a for-profit business model (think Toms Shoes). It’s really a win-win scenario. That’s why I was excited to hear about the concept of Sharing Spree, a daily deal site launched in January of 2011 that sets itself apart by donating 10 to 15 percent of every deal sold to a school or non-profit organization. Every day, the featured non-profit receives 10 percent of the proceeds of the daily deal (up to 90% off). On top of that, buyers choose an organization from about 150 participating non-profits that receives 5 percent of every deal they buy. Every deal goes back to charity, every time—while buyers enjoy a sweet discount. Sharing Spree has already donated more than $287,000 to non-profits and schools and is on target to hit a charitable donation goal of $500,000 this year.
“The daily deals market has changed a lot since we first entered it,” said Ron Sapp, CEO of Sharing Spree. “While the market is continuously growing and getting bigger, there are fewer and fewer players staying in the game. Those that are finding the most success are the niche players who are going after a specific demographic or offering a specific type of deal, and the big players. There’s been a major consolidation, and players are either backing out of the game or finding their own niche. Our niche is helping non-profits and schools boost donations, and that’s why we’ve been so successful!”
Sharing Spree targets suburban women in Portland, Ore., Nashville, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., and Seattle, Wash., and will continue to expand to new cities on a slow, very methodical basis. In the economic downturn, many women cannot afford luxuries, such as pedicures or sushi lunches, so Sharing Spree provides great deals with an added social good component. The site succeeds at donating to local charities because it provides unmatched deals that drum up plenty of business from interested buyers.
Sharing Spree currently supports non-profits and schools in the same cities where it currently offers deals. Schools and education—primary all the way through university alumni associations—are its main priority. Child-related non-profits come in right behind, i.e. Children’s Cancer Association and Make-A-Wish Foundation.