Microsoft Unveils New Groupon-like Fundraising Tool For Schools

Microsoft recently rebranded its daily deal platform (who knew they had one?!) to MSN Offers. Part of that rebranding has put a new category front and center: MSN Offers For Schools. It’s basically a new way for schools to create fundraising campaigns using MSN’s daily deal engine. Here’s the skinny from TechCrunch:

How It Works

Once a representative for a school signs up for the program, they can choose from two levels of participation: at the basic affiliate level, schools can help market existing deals in exchange for a cut of of the proceeds. If they want to take it a step further, schools can jump in at the reseller level, where they scour their surrounding area for deals that MSN Offers can sell in exchange for a bigger proportion of the revenue.

MSN Offers has partnered up with nearly 20 schools around their offers markets, and they’re looking to get more aggressive in pitching the opportunity. I don’t blame them — it’s a really nifty twist on the standard daily deals model, and the added effect of positively impacting local children could mean new users with vulnerable heart strings may give it a shot.

The Future of Fundraising

More from the website (marketing speech ahoy!): The mission of MSN Offers for Schools is simple – to strengthen local communities by supporting local businesses and raising money for local schools.  The idea behind it actually came from a team of parents who were looking for a unique and more sustainable approach towards school fundraising for their own children’s schools.

The concept of utilizing the “daily deals” platform as a school fundraising tool eventually evolved into MSN Offers for Schools. Those parents helped usher in the next generation of school fundraising – and MSN Offers is proud to be a part of it.

The MSN Offers for Schools program is all about improving local communities, one transaction at a time. Our system ensures that the money your community spends stays in your community.

Daily Deals For Schools

This type of idea has been kicking around the back of my mind for quite some time. I haven’t mentioned it aside from to a few friends but I’d actually like to hear back from interested people. Should there be a Groupon-style website devoted to offering daily deals for educational products? I feel as though I’m in a decent position with enough contacts to get the ball rolling on this… but I can’t do it alone.

I think a ‘Daily Deals For Education’ is something that could really benefit schools as well as families. For example, we could offer discounts on software, electronics, paper, pens, pencils, etc. Heck, schools could even run their own deals where they sell off their unused stuff. Got too many computers due to a recent technology upgrade? Sell them to other schools!

Let me know if you’re interested in this type of project because I sure am. I’d make the site a non-profit and have it purely exist for the sake of benefiting schools. I’m not looking to be the next Andrew Mason (founder of Groupon), I’m just looking for ways to connect schools, students, and teachers to better stuff during these harder economic times. Reach out to me directly at edudemic @ or DM me on Twitter (@edudemic) and thanks.