It wasn't too long ago that I was learning about this phenomenon called Groupons. Now I can't even begin to remember all of the deal-a-day sites in the Twin Cities.

I recently learned about another new entrant in town, this time with a philanthropic twist. Here's the e-mail interview I had with founder Stuart Graham about his new venture,

Q: When did you start The Blind Squirrel?

A: We officially launched November 1, 2010, but had been refining the model since July.

Q: How does it differ from Groupon and other deal-a-day sites?

A: We focus on partnering with non-profits and community organizations, and sharing a significant portion of the revenue with them to help support their causes. (It says 2% on the company's website, although it says special deals could earn groups as much as 50%). Update: it's 2 percent of revenue after a 10 percent administration allowance.

Q: Can anyone pick any nonprofit, or just the ones you’ve partnered with?

A: There are two different ways for non-profits to benefit from our business:

1) Anyone can choose a charity of their choice, and a contribution will be made to that organization.

2) Organizations can also partner with us directly for a larger contribution by promoting their own private-branded deal of the day that we manage for them, or by driving people to our site using a link that we that we supply.

Q: Don’t you think the market is oversaturated with sites like these?

A: There are a lot of strictly "deal sites" out there, but when you consider that each site is offering only one deal each day, there still is room for other sites.

Q: Are you taking it national?

A: Yes. Our next market launch is San Diego, followed by a national roll-out.

Q: I have to ask. Where did you get that name?

A: I wanted a name that people would remember, and that had a story and character behind it. "Even a blind squirrel finds the odd nut" is the saying. We help people find deals, and our company is in keeping with spirit of upbeat fun with a passion for what we are doing to give back to the community.