Four days ago I stumbled upon Goodsearch and its approach to business struck a chord. Let me explain.
Goodsearch is an internet search engine powered by Yahoo! Every time you use Goodsearch to browse the internet, you earn about 1 penny for a charity of your choice. There is no cost to you. The money comes from advertising revenue generated by sponsored search results. You simply have to be signed into your Goodsearch account when you do the search. Goodsearch has over 110,000 charities for you to choose from, and you can change your chosen charity as often as you wish.
Since its launch in 2005 Goodsearch has raised over US$10 million for charity.
There are other search engines that also donate money to charity. But Goodsearch appeals to me because it is easy to use, I can see my ‘earnings’ in real time and I can choose the charity that benefits from my efforts. It’s this combination of factors that inspires me to keep up the discipline of using Goodsearch.
And no matter how loyal you are to your chosen charity, you do need to be disciplined about changing a search engine. Because using the default Google search bar, as most of us do, is a deeply ingrained habit - made easy by the fact that it is constantly staring straight at you. But if we are going to start doing business ‘smarter’, so that we can create More Social Good, then we have to develop new habits.
To make it easy for you, Goodsearch has a toolbar that you can easily install. If you want to use Goodsearch regularly, I would recommend installing the toolbar, to save you having to keep the Goodsearch webpage open all of the time. The Goodsearch toolbar inserts a search box on your internet browser. On my browser it sits immediately below my Google search box. So every time I run an internet search I can choose whether I use Goodsearch or Google. Although I like to use Goodsearch as often as possible, sometimes I prefer to use Google - and I can.
The good news is, I don’t have to exclusively use Goodsearch to make a difference. This is where the ‘power of the crowd’ comes into play. You may think that 1p for a search does not make using Goodsearch worthwhile. But let’s do the numbers and see if that is right. I chose to support FINCA International with Goodsearch. FINCA is a leading global charitable microfinance organisation that provides financial services to the world's poorest entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living. In the four days that I have been using Goodsearch I have raised $1.02 for FINCA. If you average that out over a year, I will raise over $93 for FINCA. That’s a donation that has not cost me anything and required very little effort on my part.
Now, let’s think about the number of FINCA supporters that could also use Goodsearch to benefit FINCA. FINCA has 13,851 people following it on Facebook, 7,887 Twitter followers and 3,106 followers on LinkedIn. I am just going to use the Facebook figures in my illustration to avoid duplication, because some people may follow FINCA on more than one forum. But its likely that FINCA's pool of supporters is much higher.
If FINCA’s 13,851 Facebook followers each used Goodsearch for just 2 internet searches every day, then in a year FINCA would earn over $101,000! That’s a significant donation, for very little effort. But most of us would run alot more than 2 searches a day. If FINCA’s followers replicated my useage rate, FINCA would earn over $1,288,000 in a year. Now that makes it worthwhile for all of us go to a little bit of effort, even if our individual totals don’t seem like a huge amount.
Remember, we are the only barrier to how much money charities can raise through Goodsearch. If we all decide to support a charity by regularly using Goodsearch then they can raise significant amounts of money. Its entirely in our hands.
I look forward to hearing how you are supporting charities using Goodsearch.