daily deals as campus ministry opportunities

I’ve posted this idea before, but it seems like a particularly summery thing to do… and at this point, a lot more people are familiar with Groupon and sites like it (Living Social, for example).

Yesterday I tweeted news of Living Social’s amazing $10-for-$50-worth-of-VistaPrint deal. Knowing VistaPrint is what many college ministers use for rave cards, business cards, etc., it seemed like a cool chance to get some savings.

But as sites like these (and now Facebook Deals, as well) have taken off around the country, I’ve pondered how college ministries might take advantage of the 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?

Here are some thoughts – so far – on how to use Groupons and similar “Daily Deal sites” for college ministry:

  • Giveaways (you probably already give away gift cards, right?)
  • Groupon donation drives: Occasionally encouraging your students (or supporters, or church members) to buy specific Groupons to donate to fellow students (including international students), faculty / staff / administration at your campus, or others who could use it.
  • 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) extra Groupons so they can invite friends – like unsaved friends, whole fraternities, all the freshmen, etc.
  • Figuring out the Referral and Affiliate programs of the various sites, generating revenue for your campus ministry.
  • Simply using Referrals to earn some free credits for you and your family!
  • Using these sites 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.”

You might as well sign up to get the daily Groupon emails, and Living Social is the other BIG one these days. But others may be well worth checking out, as well.

What other creative (or non-creative) uses can you think of, or have you seen? Let us all know in the comments!

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