Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Great Deals While Supporting Non-Profits!

Ideal Network is a cause-marketing platform. As stated on its website, it uses collective purchasing power to benefit local businesses, schools and non-profits. Like other daily deal sites, such as Groupon, Ideal Network allows you to get great discounts from your favorite local merchants and stores. However, instead of your money going directly to a company, 20%-25% of your purchase automatically is allocated to a local cause of your choice. You are able to support non-profits and schools while still saving money. Everybody wins-- the seller and the buyer, as well as the third-party charity!

It works like this:

1. First, you sign up for ideal network (idealnetwork.com). You immediately start receiving and e-mail daily with a great discount.
2. If you decide to purchase the "ideal" deal, 20-25% of your purchase price goes straight to the campaign of your choice.
3. The cause is able to create meaningful changes within your community!

The causes include breast cancer, schools, wildlife conservation, housing and poverty reduction.

Ideal Network is able to give merchants the opportunity to earn customer's goodwill over time by appealing to a sense of personal ethics. As a result, Ideal Network appeals to merchants who otherwise may not have offered their product at a discount.
For instance, Theo chocolate was the first company to offer a deal through Ideal Network. $20 worth of chocolate were offered for $10. $5 was given to Theo Chocolates while the non-profit and Ideal Network split the remaining $5. Although, offering chocolate at a 50% discount does eat at Theo Chocolate's incoming profit, Joe Whinney the founder stated that, "if it helps to remind customer of what our business values are, it is worth spending money on."

Because the goal, "to raise modest amounts of money for a cause with measurable needs," is attainable and those benefiting are local organizations, Ideal Network is beginning to expand into cities all over the country.

To check it out go to: http://www.idealnetwork.com/seattle/borgenproject

-Gabrielle Gurian