Sat, Jan 18, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Groupon donates NT$1.08m for special-needs kids

MOBILE GIVING:The money was given to a Taiwanese foundation to help fund classes on job-skill training and child development for those with special needs

Staff writer, with CNA

The Groupon Web site has donated NT$1.08 million (US$36,000) to the Family of Joy Social Welfare Foundation to help children with special needs.

The money was raised online in three weeks through a campaign Groupon Inc ran with Taiwanese singer-actor Vanness Wu (吳建豪), and will be used to provide job-skill training and child development classes, the company said.

“We are looking at not just offering deals, but also how we can give back to the local community,” Danny Yeung (楊聖武) chief executive officer of Taiwan and Hong Kong at Groupon, said during a donation ceremony on Thursday in Taipei.

Family of Joy Social Foundation deputy executive officer Lin Jin-he (林金和) said the donation will help provide learning opportunities for more of the nation’s nearly 1.12 million special needs children.

Groupon, the nation’s largest group-buying site with 3.8 million customers, launched its online charity fundraising in early 2012 and has since raised more than NT$16 million.

The Chicago, Illinois-based company expects to raise another NT$4 million by the end of this year, thanks to the steadily growing practice of customers making donations via mobile devices.

Yeung said one in every three local Groupon customers makes transactions on their mobile devices, compared with the global average of about 50 percent.

To increase that ratio, the company plans to add more location-based features to its mobile application that will alert users to good deals or coupons when they approach retailers in certain areas, Yeung added.

“I think in 2014, our mobile services will play a big part,” Yeung said. “We want to develop new, vertical and different categories of products people can buy, and want to convince customers to check Groupon first for whatever they need.”

“We want the mobile device to become your shopping portal,” Yeung said.

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