This was co-written by Amy Neumann.
The best portion of a good life is little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness… ~ William Wordsworth
In a recent interview with Scott Garell, CEO of Goodsearch, we talked about some of the ways their “search with heart” model has grown, now encompassing multiple ways your simple, everyday online actions can help your favorite cause. More than 15 million people used Goodsearch last year to support more than 100,000 non-profits and schools. Since 2006, Goodsearch users have raised more than $9 million, participated in over 1.1 billion charitable actions, and have truly made a difference.
Joan Longwood, a social worker in Los Angeles, plays about three hours of solitaire every week on her computer. She says it helps her relax after a long day of seeing patients. And the games do something else too. Each time she plays one, she’s helping raise money for the Best Friends Animal Society – a California based nonprofit which runs the nation’s largest animal sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals. That’s because Joan is playing Solitaire through a new service, Goodgames.org.
Goodgames is simple, each time you play one of the games, you begin to raise money for a cause you care about. Currently Goodgames works with about 109,000 nonprofits and schools, but users add new ones each day.
The potential is huge. According to research firm NewZoo, 113 million Americans play 50 million hours a day of causal online games. Goodgames donates about 5-10 cents an hour of play to one’s favorite cause making the opportunity $2.5-5 million a day or over $1 billion a year.
“I love dogs, but sadly my life doesn’t allow me the time to actually volunteer for Best Friends as I’d like to,” says Joan. “Getting to turn my relaxation time into something that gives back makes me feel great because I know I’m helping to make a difference.”
Joan is not the only one who feels this way. Being able to volunteer once a year or write a check isn’t enough anymore for many consumers. They are looking to find simple ways to make their lives more meaningful and give back more often. According to a 2012 survey by Edelman, 47% of consumers say that every month they buy at least one brand that supports a good cause – a 47% increase from 2010. And 72% of consumers say they’d recommend a brand that supports a good cause – up 38% in two years.
Services like Goodsearch (a Yahoo powered search engine that donates about a penny per search), Goodshop (2,800 retailers such as Amazon and Expedia give a percentage of the purchase back to a cause), Gooddining (10,000 restaurants give a percentage of the meal cost back to a cause), have raised nearly $10 million to date. The causes helped by Goodsearch include large national organizations such as the American Cancer Society to local causes like schools, food banks, animal shelters or churches. “With budget cuts and a difficult economy, we get tens of thousands of letters from our cause partners every year telling us how critical these dollars are to keep their programs thriving. For example, the money we’ve raised for the National Inclusion Project in North Carolina has helped send hundreds of disabled children to summer camp,” says Scott Garell.
|GoodSearch is a search engine, powered by Yahoo!, that donates a penny
back per search to any of the 109,000+ listed causes you choose.