A Year in Review | 2016 Employee Volunteer Program Recap

A Year in Review | 2016 Employee Volunteer Program Recap

Our Social Responsibility mission is simple: to help people and communities thrive and prosper. We do this through a secret formula of employee do-goodery, responsible business practices, customer collaboration and nonprofit investment.

2016 has been an exciting year for Groupon’s Employee Volunteer Program – a year of increased engagement and more significant impact in the communities where employees live and work. In short order, we’ve seen the culture of employee volunteerism shift from simply being a “nice to do” to being core to our values and a part of who we are as a global leader in local e-commerce.

This past year, we:

  • Engaged more employees in more offices than ever before during the third annual Volunteer-a-thon in June.
  • Piloted the first Grouponsultation (pro bono) cohort where teams of employees worked collaboratively on capacity-building projects with nonprofits to help solve critical community issues.
  • Launched the first Global Leadership Team, where 24 rockstar employees stepped up to support the great volunteer work in offices across the company.
  • Hosted the annual VolunteerMatch Summit bringing industry leaders to our HQ office in Chicago where Groupon’s VP of Sales & Merchant Operations and the EVP’s Executive Sponsor, Jay Klauminzer, delivered the keynote address.

Our volunteers are ready and eager to continue this great work and “do good” with exceptional purpose in the year ahead. Keep an eye out for more to come from Groupon’s Employee Volunteer Program in 2017.

Looking for something you can do in your local community? Check out VolunteerMatch for opportunities to get involved in your area.

2016 EVP Recap

2016 EVP Recap

Devin Breen and the CHIditarod

Devin Breen and the CHIditarod

Written by: Alicia Koch, Program Coordinator, Employee & Community Engagement

This past weekend, 535 Chicagoans ran through the streets of the Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village neighborhoods in costumes pushing shopping carts full of canned food for the 11th annual CHIditarod. Founded and led by Groupon Senior Software Engineer, Devin Breen, the CHIditarod is a Chicago staple: part charity food drive, part beauty pageant, part bar crawl, all costumed urban shopping cart race supporting the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s mission to end hunger.

This year’s event raised more than 15,000 pounds of food (which translates to 13,000 meals) for the Greater Chicago Food Depository and more than $32,000 to support local nonprofits working to alleviate hunger in the Chicagoland area via an annual grant program offered by the CHIditarod Foundation – the 501(c)(3) Devin started in 2012.

The idea for the CHIditarod was born after Devin’s return back from his first Burning Man in 2005. He came back inspired with creativity and empowered to create participatory change in his hometown of Chicago. After hearing about San Francisco and New York’s “urban iditarods,” Devin knew this event could be something big for the Chicago community – and if there was a charity component added on top of the festivities, it could be even bigger.

When catching up with this inspiring Grouponer after this year’s event, he mentioned his favorite part would be “The Yard” where participants line up to start the race. “When you have all of the teams hanging out together, there is this concentrated ability to see the creativity and sense of community in the CHIditarod,” said Devin.

As the momentum around the CHIditarod continues to grow year over year, Devin’s work has been recognized by the Burning Man community leadership, and he will be presenting a keynote at Burning Man’s Global Leadership Conference in San Francisco next month on his work with CHIditarod. At the conference, Devin will be announcing the event’s exciting expansion plan, Rod in a Box. The CHIditarod Team has been working over the last year to open source all of their materials and software (http://github.com/chiditarod) to allow cities to replicate the event, tailor it to the unique culture of their local community, and fight hunger in one of the most unique ways that I’ve ever seen!

To learn more about the CHIditarod, visit http://chiditarod.org (Photo by Bartek Karas)