Groupon Joins the Metropolitan Planning Council Placemaking Challenge

Have you heard of placemaking? Well, even if you haven’t, you may have seen the results of placemaking projects in your neighborhood. Placemaking is a grassroots movement to transform unused public areas into vibrant community spaces through lively events, art installations, gathering spots, and more. So a colorful wall mural, cafe chairs in a park, or a community BBQ could all be considered placemaking!

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.50.26 PMAs part of our commitment to local communities, Groupon is partnering with the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago for their 2014 placemaking challenge “Old Place New Tricks.” Groupon is currently running 19 unique Groupon Grassroots campaigns for participants in the 2014 challenge, allowing Groupon subscribers to donate to projects that range from transforming a vacant lot into Austin’s first “peace lot”, a permanent conflict-resolution space, to a bicycle-awareness event where residents can donate and purchase refurbished bikes and learn about bike safety.

Groupon employees are  getting in on the fun by transforming a vacant lot near Groupon’s River North headquarters into an art installation featuring portraits of community members. Volunteers are also constructing community ideas chalkboards that will be donated to every placemaking site.

IMG_20140811_120709999All events in the 2014 placemaking challenge are occurring during the weekend of August 15th throughout the Chicagoland area, bringing many Chicago communities together as they activate an unused space in their neighborhood. Participants are also eligible to win prizes of $1000 for their placemaking event, including the “Love Local” award sponsored by Groupon.

To learn more about placemaking visit the Metropolitan Planning Council’s website. Follow along on Saturday with #BeautifyChi to see our progress!

 

Groupon Engineers Hacking for Good

10550948_682256991849156_6330119962499547193_nIt seems like a few Groupon employees have seen the 1995 cult classic Hackers.

On Sunday July 27th, seven Groupon computer engineers and two representatives from DevBootCamp held a hackathon in conjunction with the 21st Century Youth Project. Groupon employees mentored 30 high school students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to get excited about computer science.

In honor of our colleague James Rapley, who was an avid cyclist and passed away last year, the “hackers” made use of the data from the Divvy Data Challenge to help the students design, plan, and code some awesome data visualization projects. Hannah Helbert from Divvy had this to say about the importance of the data challenge: “The purpose of the Divvy Data Challenge was to celebrate making all of our trip data public for the first time. It’s important because this data can reveal important information about how people utilize the system and what this means for not just Divvy, but how people travel and experience the city.”

For Groupon’s hackathon, students split into teams of 6-10 and each team had 2-3 mentors helping them come up with a visualization based on the data. After some brainstorming, the students came up with some great ideas around different visualizations, possible uses for the network, and even great ways of improving the bikes themselves.

Hacking ProjectThe following projects were selected by the teams:

  • Visualizing station usage using differently sized circles.

  • Finding out which bike record represented the RED divvy by correlating trips and twitter posts about bike sightings.

  • “Gameifying” the divvy network by offering achievements to users based on the distance traveled, number of stations visited, etc.

  • Ranking riders based on age/distance.

After the hackathon, we reached out to Divvy to see which idea they are most excited about. Helbert told us,“‘Gameifying’ is the most interesting idea to us, since this idea isn’t something we can already easily extrapolate from the data. This one is interesting because it’s a suggestion people have brought up, but that has not been executed. We’d be curious to hear innovative ways to make sure the system is appropriately balanced.”

Congrats to all the student and employee “hackers” on their successful event!

Follow Groupon.com on Snapchat

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Are you on Snapchat? We are too. So if you need a reason to ignore your surroundings in a socially acceptable way, follow us at Groupon.com.

Here’s additional incentive: As part of our kick off celebration, we’re offering an exclusive deal for an epic experience to attend Wiz Khalifa’s album release concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.

Sometime during the next seven days (ooh, mysterious!) we’ll send out a snap notifying followers when the deal is live. The first person to follow the link to the deal page will be able to purchase the deal for $4.20.

One lucky purchaser of the deal will receive:

  • 2 front-section tickets to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre album-release show for Wiz Khalifa’s new album, “Blacc Hollywood” on Aug. 19
  • Pre-show meet-and-greet with Wiz Khalifa
  • Coach round-trip airfare for two from anywhere in the continental U.S. to Denver departing Monday, Aug. 18 and returning Wednesday, Aug. 20
  • Two-night stay at a centrally located hotel
  • Ground transportation to and from the airport to the hotel

Also, starting tomorrow we’re featuring a collection of Wiz Khalifa’s “Blacc Hollywood” merchandise, including music and apparel.

So get to snappin’. We’ll push out exclusive deals and sweepstakes in a blink of an eye. Stay tuned!

It’s Beauty Week at Groupon

Summer’s in full swing, and we’re kicking it up a notch by launching Beauty Week, a week packed full of:

Phew!

Additionally, we’ve invited 12 beauty bloggers, including Eva from My Life as Eva, to test out Groupon’s health and beauty products and help you decide which ones to try for yourself.

Follow @FavintheMavin for health and beauty picks as well as exclusive promo codes all this week! Happy pampering!

Groupon Employees Surpass Mid-Year Volunteering Goal!

pOejJa_jAkf6lS0OwDZUc302tJUS5d9I8TZm7b90fCaWKIT7FGFu9jMLowlaspa0_2IZ7Lka9OCMSMPfnnYaqQWmVWkWbpnLASfqK-M5XPlYkTDhJEkiuOWufvqIG2ER0wYou’ve heard of a dance-a-thon, read-a-thon, and a marathon, but during the months of May and June at Groupon, employees participated in Groupon’s Super-Competitive, Very Serious Employee Volunteer-a-thon. During those two months, Employee Volunteer Program chapters through offices in North America hosted 82 events, helping us completed 5,474 out of our 2014 goal of 10,000 hours of service to local communities, and surpassing our goal of 5,000 volunteer hours before the end of June.RchWUwrstrFIcc2JWhJ2k2tl3DHOmnGmDHw3vB5aBdddF2tBMK1CFC8YRuV7IwLrBAKM77px-UzspU7rWEkJShFu5zFNRNKonWR4fVegMPew8UPAy5jcKAB8CnUMNQAwJQ

A big focus of Groupon’s employee volunteer program is team volunteer outings, which engage numerous employees and promote team bonding and skill development. To date in 2014, we have had 17 participate, with Engineering, Sales, and Marketing coming in as top departments for participation. Many of Groupon’s top leaders have also joined in to make a difference.

 J_d8gTl-fuhnrwSfa-NEaler0k2vFtMsKhvNGwwklecepLBeMDJecKXQww67ZhQ8II01pBi6kx6HANdU5xbQpEc9JzObpqBcUxxEAHPZUhsB7EurTUeExGpmzWSHaat5xwTo kick off the volunteer-a-thon, we launched our new volunteer platform, VolunteerMatch, in all of North America and UK in April to help employees search and sign-up for volunteer opportunities in their local area, and track their contribution to our company goal.

We look forward to engaging even more employees in having a meaningful impact in their communities as we continue to our goal of 10,000 hours of service in 2014.


The #SummerOfGroupon Kicks Off with a Sweepstakes

SummmerWe know air-conditioning can lull you into a state of comfort during the summer months, but we here at Groupon want you to go out and play! As an incentive, we’re giving away $100,000. Log into your account, dust off your unused local Groupons, or purchase new ones to redeem for your chance at $500 cash each week. One luckier winner will receive a $50,000 Grand Prize.

It’s simple. For every Groupon you buy or redeem through 8/24 you’ll get an automatic entry into the $100,000 sweepstakes. Visit HERE for more info. Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 12.53.34 PMFor inspiration, we’ve joined forces with six top bloggers from across the country who are now redeeming local Groupons and sharing their stories on their websites and our #SummerOfGroupon site.

Lend your voice to the conversation and tell us what you’re up to this summer!


Social Innovation at Groupon

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Patty Morrissey, head of social innovation, leads the corporate responsibility arm of Groupon. She recently talked with Forbes about Groupon’s current crowdfunding campaigns and other social impact programs.

“If I were to tell you about a global platform designed to connect millions of customers with independently owned businesses, that generates local jobs, local wealth and local prosperity, you might think that I’m describing a B-corporation social enterprise, but that’s Groupon,” explained Patty Morrissey.

Rahim Kanani: As head of social innovation at Groupon, how would you define the scope of your work and why it’s important to the founders?

Patty Morrissey: Social change has always been important to our founders. Groupon was born out of a collective action fundraising platform, The Point. Today our leaders know that as the global leader of local commerce, we are also reliant on diverse communities of local businesses and engaged customers. We are invested in fostering the success of the communities where our merchants, customers, and employees live and work not simply because we care, but because our business depends on these communities.

Click HERE to read the full article.

Celebrate Pride at Groupon

851x315_social_pridedeals_dmAt Groupon, we love diverse, culturally rich communities because we know that these communities are good for our merchants and our customers. During Pride Month, we celebrate and bring awareness to the merchants, neighborhoods, and community groups that support and cater to the LGBTQ community all year round, adding diversity to the range of services and experiences offered in their community. These businesses and community centers are incredibly important, as they are often more than just businesses, they are places of refuge, places to create community, places to share stories, and places to build hope for LGBTQ people.10494417_10152479832995821_8141085900731322073_o

The gay rights movement started when a small group of people stood up for their rights and never stopped fighting. To contribute to the effort, Groupon employees have marched and signed open letters in support of marriage equality on both the national and state levels; participated in the Human Rights Campaign’s wear-red day; and formed an internal employee-resource group to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. Groupon salutes our merchants and customers who support this effort and equality for all.

During this month of Pride we are celebrating in various ways: Our collection features local events, clothing, and products to complement any Pride parade or gathering. Plus, our employees rallied in all our offices across the globe wearing colors of the rainbow. Oh, and there’s a little opportunity for you to win a chance to win a trip to New York City, share a drink with Neil Patrick Harris and see the Tony-winning musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway. All donations will go directly to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which supports people across the country living with HIV/AIDS.Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 3.34.51 PMMore on Pride @ Groupon: Groupon is a proud supporter of our LGBTQ employees, merchants, consumers, and community. We scored 100% in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index, making us a “Best Place to Work – 2014”. We also believe in advocating for the rights of all our employees, leading us to be public supporters of marriage equality and the federal Employee Non-Discrimination Act. Around the office our Pride@Groupon employee resource group hosts fun activities and educational events. And of course, you can look for our float in this year’s Chicago Pride Parade!

Celebrities Save Just Like Us

Our internet ears were burning when we got word that a certain celebrity is reportedly a fan of finding a bargain on Groupon. We got some exclusive footage of his purchase. Can you guess who it is?

We’re happy to hear “celebrities are just like us” hits so close to home and want to welcome other star-studded savers to the mix. From Celeb Couture Harem Pants to HDTVs, here are some other deals that make the A-list:

  • One of the challenges of being a celebrity are your fans’ constant smiles. Those pearly whites bounce back harmful UV rays. Protect your eyes from the intrusive glow with Versace, Fossil, or Giorgio Armani sunglasses.
  • Waxing. We’ve seen those Twilight movies. We know what’s up, Mr. Chest.
  • Why rent jewelry for premieres that TV fashionistas are going to critique anyway? We’ve got plenty of sparkles on Groupon Goods. Keep the earrings and the compliments.Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 11.28.33 AM
  • Missed the Avengers premiere? Buddy up with these 10″ figures in your home screening pavilion and have your own viewing party.
  • Your pet is a celebrity by association. Treat him as such with this Cat Crib for when he’s hanging out on set with you.Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 10.39.49 AM
  • Red carpet mishap? #CheckGrouponFirst. We have plenty of carpet cleaning deals in your zip code.

Hopefully all these deals will complement your jet-setting lifestyle. Captain Sparrow, if you need them, we have some grilling tips as well.

 

 


We Speak Dad

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 5.19.14 PMFather’s Day is fast approaching, and our gift shop has all the dad-centric gifts on every father’s (unspoken) list. Whether he’s a fisher, a builder, a foodie, a tech head, or a beer aficionado, don’t worry. We speak dad.

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Listen to more of dad’s jokes on the plane ride to Ireland.

For example, your dad probably wouldn’t mind you entering our contest to win him a trip to Ireland to enjoy the majesty and lush landscape of the Emerald Isle and tour a world-famous brewery.

No one in the average American household wields more at-the-ready adages than Dad. Whether it’s, “In my day, we didn’t have safety nets or cell phones,” or “I’m so hungry, I could eat my arm,” or “You’re going to like it, whether you like it or not!” Dad’s dad-isms never disappoint. Now we want to reward one spectacular Dad–and his classic Dad-speak–with a trip to Ireland, the birthplace of blarney.

To enter, share a photo of your favorite dad (or a photo of something that reminds you of your dad, like a hat or his comfy chair). Then add a caption of his most popular dad-ism. After submitting, head to the internet and rally your friends to vote! We’ll choose a grand-prize winning dad based on creativity and quality of the photo, as well as the creativity and originality of the caption from the 10 submissions with the most votes.

The grand-prize winning captioned photo will receive a Groupon Getaway* for two to Ireland valued at $8,000. Four additional entrants will be chosen randomly to win $100 in Groupon Bucks each–two entrants will be chosen from the remaining 10 submissions with the most votes and two entrants will be chosen from all submissions.

Grand prize includes:

  • Round trip airfare for two to Dublin, Ireland
  • Five-star accommodations at Ashford Castle (two nights), Adare Manor (2 nights), Four Seasons Hotel Dublin (2 nights) and a Heritage Golf & Spa Resort (1 night)
  • Tour of world-famous Irish brewery
  • Complimentary tours, golfing, car rental and more

Happy Father’s Day and good luck!