PBS Hawaii & Groupon: A Crowdfunding Success

By using Groupon's crowd funding tool, Groupon Grassroots, PBS Hawaii was able to raise money to buy hard drives for kids in their area. To tell us more about the success, we talked to Liberty Peralta, multimedia writer for PBS Hawaii.

1. Tell us about your Groupon Grassroots campaign.
HIKI NŌ is our statewide student news program, featuring school and community stories from a network of 86 public, private, and charter schools. Many schools don't have the storage capacity to store multiple versions of their stories, so students were deleting valuable rough cuts and raw footage during the production process.

To help alleviate storage issues and streamline this learning process for the students, we partnered with Groupon Grassroots to raise money to purchase external hard drives for all participating schools. We called this campaign the "Drive Drive" (#DriveDrive on Twitter).

"HIKI NŌ," by the way, is Hawaiian for "can do." This was certainly a "can do" moment for us!

2. Did you consider using other crowd finding services like IndieGogo or Kickstarter? What made you choose Groupon?
Groupon seemed like a good fit for our campaign to help us reach out to new faces. It also seemed like a simple, low-risk way to get our feet wet with crowdsourcing through social media. We liked that Groupon Grassroots doesn't have an "all-or-nothing" approach to fundraising, and that they do not take a percentage from the funds raised. However, we may consider Kickstarter or Indiegogo in the future, if we feel those platforms would be a good match.

3. Why, in your opinion, was this campaign a success? What do you think makes a successful Groupon campaign?
We reached a new group of supporters that were not already in our circles. There were several ways we achieved this: social media posts, having teachers from participating schools outreach to friends and colleagues, and media coverage in Pacific Business News—our local weekly business journal. We also benefitted from a geo-targeted email blast sent from Groupon to Hawaii-based subscribers.

4. Based on your experience, will you use Groupon again in the future? Why or why not?
Yes. Based on the success of this campaign, we may consider partnering with Groupon Grassroots again in the future.

5. What did you learn from this experience and what advice can you give other stations looking to fund a project with Groupon?
On social media, schedule daily posts that are strategically timed, based on when most of your audience may be active. For us, it's usually early morning, lunchtime and early evening, but we recommend checking your analytics to determine the best timing. Distribute press releases to local media, and send email reminders to your advocates, asking them to help spread the word—in our case, our HIKI NŌ teachers were our advocates. Also, campaign messaging should encourage people to become a part of a movement or emphasize the ease of giving, rather than simply asking for a handout.