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How Everyone Can Become A Philanthropist, Even If You Don’t Have Any Money

Updated on April 13, 2010

Sounds like a crazy scam doesn’t it? For once, it’s not.

The problem with philanthropy (giving money without receiving in return) is that it’s very hard to do unless you’re rich. I mean, I would love to donate a million dollars to fight cancer, but I don’t have that kind of money. All I can give is a pittance and my time at a fund raising event. But I would love to do more. Until a few months ago, I would have thought it was impossible, until I discovered GoodSearch.

GoodSearch is a search engine that has an unusual gimmick. Every time you do a search with them, they will donate one cent to whatever charity you want (that has registered with GoodSearch). Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, “Hey random blogger of the internet. It’s one freakin’ cent. Woop-de-doo!” but one cent adds up. I, as an extreme example, do roughly 50 searches a day (my mind wanders a lot, and I have too much free time), meaning by myself, I raise 50 cents each day. In a month, I’ll have raised $15. By the end of the year, I’ll have raised $180. And I was able to accomplish this without changing my daily routine.

Of course not everyone is as addicted to the internet as I am. Let’s say, on average, you only do 5 searches a day. You’ll raise 5 cents a day… by yourself. The glory of this system is that each individual person doesn’t have to do a lot, it makes it easy for a bunch of people to donate together. Let’s say you donate to a charity that has 99 other people also using GoodSearch, and each person only searches the web 5 times a day. Every day you all will raise $5, in a month you’ll raise $150, and at the end of the year, you’ll have raised $1,800. Not bad for just sitting on your butt and surfing the web eh?

So… what do you have to do to “donate” money? It’s very simple to set up. First, go to and find the hard to miss box that asks “Who do you GoodSearch for?” and type in what you want to donate to. Let’s say you wish to donate to a cancer fighting organization, you would type in “Cancer” in the space provided. Then GoodSearch will provide a list of cancer fighting organizations, and you would select one to donate to. And… you’re done. Now every time you use GoodSearch, they will donate one cent to the charity you have selected (note: be sure you allow scripts from GoodSearch when you are selecting the charity or it will not register that you picked one. If you don’t know what this means, you don’t have to worry about it).

But wait… There’s more! GoodSearch also has another feature called GoodShop. Every time you buy something through GoodShop, they will be able to get even more donations for your charity. You don’t pay more for the items you buy, GoodSearch just sets up an easy system to allow big business to make a tax deductible donation to a charity that you choose (they donate a percentage of whatever you end up paying them). Some stores that have an agreement with GoodsShop are:, Best Buy, eBay, iTunes, Staples, Target, Travelocity, and Walgreens. All you have to do to get them to donate to your charity is to go to whatever store you want, but go there via GoodShop (which can be accessed on the GoodSearch homepage).

But… what if you’re lazy like me? What if you don’t want to go through the arduous task of going to GoodSearch every time you want to search the web? There are other ways to search with GoodSearch than by going to their website. If you have Internet Explorer, they offer a toolbar that you can download (found here). Or if you don’t like toolbars, that same link also contains instructions on how to add GoodSearch to your search bar (scroll down below the toolbar installing information). The advantage of using the toolbar is that it allows you to buy something through GoodShop without going to GoodSearch. Besides that one difference, searching Goodsearch through your search bar works just as well as using the toolbar.

So… all of this sounds great right? Surely there must be a downside. Unfortunately, there is, but it’s a minor one. GoodSearch is powered by the Yahoo search engine, and you can’t change that. I am a Google fan-boy. It pains me greatly that GoodSearch forces me to search via Yahoo to get them to donate when I search. If you like Yahoo, or don’t particularly care which search engine you use, then GoodSearch will be a perfect fit for you. The only other thing that I can think of that could possibly be a problem is that if you do too many “Fraudulent searches”, GoodSearch will de-list the charity you’re donating to. A couple of things it considers to be a “fraudulent search” are “meta-searching” and using “search engine optimization services”. If you don’t know what these are, you don’t have to worry about it. If you do, this is something you should consider before using GoodSearch.

As long as you don’t have issues with the last paragraph, then GoodSearch is great. It donates money if you do something you normally do every day, and if enough people use it, it can generate a decent amount of cash for the charity you choose. GoodSearch will get more advertising revenue, and charities receive more funds than they normally would have. All and all, I’d say this is a rare case of a true win-win scenario.


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    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 8 years ago from SE US

      WOW! I just tried it and it worked so well - what a wonderful, wonderful way to reach us internet junkies!