get your groupon… on

Are you familiar with Groupon?

It’s basically daily couponing available in quite a few cities across the U.S.. There are other sites with similar things going on: Living Social, for example. Each day (if you so choose), you get an emailed deal for your area, and you’re basically buying a gift certificate for way less than face value. So you may get, for example, $25 worth of Tin Star Mexican food for only $10 (one of my recent faves).

Food comes up an awful lot in the daily deals, but there are also Groupons for stores, theaters, and more.

So as this site appears to have taken off around the country, I’ve been pondering how college ministries might take advantage of the Groupon offerings. Clearly, these things mean getting quite an enormous “bang for your buck” – if you remember to use them before the expiration date. So I figure we should try to take advantage of this little goldmine. Right?

So for this week’s Fridea, here are my thoughts – so far – on how to use Groupons for college ministry:

  • Giveaways (you probably already give away gift cards, right?)
  • Occasionally messaging your whole group to go buy a particularly good Groupon to donate to fellow students (including international students), people in your church or in the community, faculty / staff / administration at your campus, and so on.
  • Getting students to buy Groupons for an upcoming college ministry hangout – like at a restaurant – so everybody’s money will go a lot further. Schedule it!
  • Buying (or encouraging students to buy) enough Groupons to invite friends – like unsaved friends, whole fraternities, all the freshmen, etc. Remember, you’re paying way less upfront.
  • Figuring out the Referral and Affiliate programs, generating revenue (or Groupon bucks) for your campus ministry.
  • Use Groupon to identify local restaurants that may be willing to cut your ministry a deal in the future. (If they’re willing to do the Groupon thing, they’re probably willing to think about other advertising avenues.)
  • Encouraging your college ministry sponsors to purchase Groupons for you as a little “bonus support.”
  • Being particularly AWESOME (if you’ve never used Groupon before) and signing up for the emails using this link: http://www.groupon.com/r/uu3124807 Then if you ever do decide to make a Groupon purchase, I’ll get a bonus. That means you’ll be helping support me as I serve college ministry! Thanks! (If you already used one of the Groupon links earlier, those do the same thing.)

So that’s my list, quickly assembled. What other creative (or non-creative) uses can you think of? Let us know in the comments!

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