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Doing good, one search at a time

POSTED: July 3, 2007 5:02 a.m.

Last year, Internet search engines generated more than $6 billion in advertising revenue. What if even a fraction of that money went towards organizations trying to make the world a better place?

That is the concept behind a new search engine, developed by Internet entrepreneurs Ken and JJ Ramberg., powered by Yahoo, donates 50 percent of its revenue, approximately a penny per search, to the charities designated by its users. The pennies add up quickly.

More than 37,000 nonprofits are now on-board and 100 new charities and schools are signing up daily. Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County is on the list. has quickly spread via word-of-mouth and the blogger community. For example:

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation jumped from 3,169 in May 2006 to more than 30,000 searches last month. To date, CFF has earned more than $4,000.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, the country’s largest habitat refuge for endangered elephants, has raised more than $3,900.

The ASPCA increased from 4,827 searches in May 2006 to 53,562 last month. To date, its earned $3,700.

The site is also gaining traction on college campuses, often a leading indicator of technological trends. The Penn State Dance Marathon, which helps thousands of children and families fight pediatric cancer, has raised more than $3,000.

Internet users have found GoodSearch to be a compelling idea. Jon Herson now uses GoodSearch regularly to support PATH (People Assisting the Homeless). “If I can search for a restaurant and help feed the hungry, why wouldn’t I use it?’ asks Herson.

Using GoodSearch is simple. Because the site is powered by Yahoo, users are assured of high quality results, but each time you search, money is generated by advertisers for your favorite charity or school.

“We know there are a lot of people who want to do good, but may not have the time or the money to help out,” said Ken Ramberg, co-founder of GoodSearch and former president of MonsterTRAK, the largest online career site for college students (now a division of “GoodSearch makes it easy as possible. We’ve taken something people do every day, searching the Internet, and have turned it into doing good.”


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