Charity – does anyone really care?

7 Feb
2007

I’ve been mulling over this for a while – a way to give to charity. But also a way to inspire others to contribute too (every cent counts).

A friend of mine and me bought billion.org a while ago. The name says all about our lofty goal :) But while brainstorming on how to raise money (amongst other issues), one thing that keeps coming up – do people really care?

Eg lets say I made a website – lets call it ‘CharitySearch.com’ The results were directly from Google, and all AdSense (minus the hosting fees) revenue went to charity. Personally, I would find that a no-brainer. Just change my top right search to CharitySearch.com, and done! That has to make some money. But would people do it?

We also talked about using an Adsense ID for charity. We could make one day of the month ‘Charity Day’ where everyone would change their AdSense ID to this specific ID (got approval from Google). But how many people would actually do that?

Another idea was to find some corporate sponsors, and basically act as a conduit. Every dollar you donate goes to the charity you want. But the benefit would be that under the ‘billion.org’ idea we would be doing something for the greater good. 1000 people donating $10 – no one pays attention. But billion.org raising $10,000 towards its lofty goal of $1,000,000,000 – maybe something to write home about?

But the nagging question I have always had – would people do it? CharitySearch.com would take less than a minute (changing your default search engine). AdSense ID would be more complicated, depending on your CMS. On a site like Blog Flux it would take us under a minute. The third option is harder, but it gives your donation double meaning – you donate to the charity you want to and you compel others to do the same.

Anyone care to comment on motivations there? (especially since #1 costs you zero cents).

9 Responses to Charity – does anyone really care?

Avatar

Jacob

February 8th, 2007 at 12:33 am

I kind of like the charity search idea, it would be the easiest to implement and I would imagine many would jump on the bandwagon, I know I would if it still looked and felt like Google. You could make it so that people could have an option of where to donate and such. Any help I can provide just let me know. This sounds like a genius idea :P

Avatar

Ahmed

February 8th, 2007 at 12:39 am

Truth is there are some out there … can’t remember them off the top of my head.

Traction: zero.

Avatar

Mike Bogo

February 8th, 2007 at 1:50 am

I’m going to have to say that option #1 probably won’t work too well… I’ve been asked by friends to use their organizations google / adsense thing, and I’ve just never gotten around to it.

Additionally, you can also look at something that works on a more greed basis – blingo.com. It does have a pretty decent alexa rating (~4000), but ctr on that site must be atrocious…

Avatar

Glenn

February 8th, 2007 at 6:03 am

Hi Ahmed, great minds must think alike. I’ve been hot and cold on a very similar but somewhat more complex scenario for a few years now.

The most discouraging thing is people are so sceptical that it is very hard to get anything like this off the ground. Many think it’s either a con because you aren’t in it for the money, or are going to switch it to a for profit model once established.

The other things working against us is donors have unrealistic expectations, they seem to think everything gets done for free and 100% of every contribution should be going directly to the final recipient.

I wish you luck if you go ahead with it, as you said every cent helps.

Avatar

Ahmed

February 8th, 2007 at 12:03 pm

That is my question Bogo – if you use FireFox, changing the search box in the top right is trivial.

… I just did it, it took me 5 seconds :)

Yes Blingo is interesting, and very greed driven – sucks really – charity is a far more compelling case (or so I would think), but apathy is huge.

@Glenn – I agree with the skeptics. We are actually in the process of registering a legitimate Charity Foundation, which should help ease a lot of concerns. Hopefully will have something to announce soon.

Avatar

Mike Bogo

February 8th, 2007 at 5:24 pm

Avatar

Ahmed

February 8th, 2007 at 6:52 pm

Interesting, but color me extremely unimpressed.

You have to use that specific page, there is the extremely ambiguous ‘contribution’, and its only a short-term project.

Avatar

Sam Davidson

February 10th, 2007 at 7:38 am

I’ve found that people do care, but they have to be shown how to care. That’s why we started CoolPeopleCare. Folks want to give back, but things get in the way, so you have to actively work to remove those distractions.

Avatar

Ahmed

February 10th, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Nice site Sam – I like it :)

top