A new daily deals site catering to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LBGT) and allied communities has just launched, and it’s called Gaypon. The site provides its subscribers with daily offers from local and regional businesses – but only those businesses known to be gay-friendly.
In addition, Gaypon says a portion of its proceeds will be donated to local and national LGBT organizations and charities.
Initially, you might imagine this site is just the latest to jump on the daily deals bandwagon. But in actuality, it’s introducing a new take on the Groupon model: daily deals for a cause. Gaypon is a valid attempt at creating a groundswell of community support for local businesses that have demonstrated a desire for equality in all their business practices by rewarding them with new customers.
Before becoming a Gaypon merchant, businesses are put through a background check of sorts, where they are investigated for any bad marks, like complaints of discrimination from customers and employees, poor hiring practices, etc. Gaypon says it also uses various tools, like the Human Rights Campaign’s “Corporate Equality Index” that rates American workplaces on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.
Gaypon plans to donate a portion of proceeds to charitable organizations, and those that support the gay community, like The Trevor Project, which focuses on crisis and suicide prevention amongst LGBTQ youth, and Affirmations, which is one of the largest LGBT community centers in the United States. The exact percentage of those donations, however, is unclear.
The site promises that your personal data is kept private, too. It’s never sold or handed over to the merchant (unless shipping is involved) and purchases on your credit card appear only as “deal purchase.” That last bit alone proves that we still have far to go as a society in terms of acceptance and tolerance for others. After all, why else would you need to hide that you’re supporting a gay-friendly company?
By the way, Gaypon isn’t just for the LGBT and Allied communities – it’s for anyone who wants to support local businesses that stand up for equality.
Gaypon was founded by Robert Graham, of Clear Channel Radio, and Jason Buszta. It’s based in West Bloomfield, Michigan, which is where the majority of the deals are now located. Deals are forthcoming in NYC, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego and Phoenix, says Graham. Gaypon’s funding comes from individual donors who wish to remain anonymous.