Shopping for a Cause: Makers of GoodSearch Release GoodShop

Shopping search engine offers new opportunities to support charities

Remember GoodSearch? It was (and still is) a search engine powered by Yahoo! that donated a penny to a charity for every time you searched. It's a novel concept—you help your favorite charity and Yahoo! makes ad revenue. (Microsoft offers something similar with Bing Rewards, though in addition to supporting charities you can win some underwhelming prizes.) 

However, GoodSearch has never really caught on. Is it because we Westerners are just deaf to the needs of the world? Perhaps, but I think the problem lies more in the fact that it's difficult to feel any impact from using GoodSearch. (Contrast this with how successful child sponsorship organizations are.) You don't really feel the world changing, and as a result it just seems easier to use your favorite engine—in my case, I always use Google and the primary reason is because it's so convenient to search on Google through the address bar in Chrome.

Well, now the makers of GoodSearch have created a similar concept called GoodShop. GoodShop is a shopping search engine that lets you search products of your choice (like Google or Bing Shopping), but then also includes the amount of your purchase that will be given to the charity of your choice. Pretty cool, huh?

I find a few noteworthy advantages to using GoodShop:

  • Feel good about spreading holiday cheer. During the holidays, I always feel a pull between helping those less fortunate and giving loved ones gifts. It can be difficult to do both, but with GoodShop, you can strike a balance. Find sites and products that donate 10 percent or more of the profit to a charity, and by the end of your holiday shopping you could have given a sizable chunk to your favorite charity.
  • Support more giving organizations. OK, call me naïve—I understand that corporations are, for all intents and purposes, amoral. The cynic in me tells me that the "good will" corporations show is more of a PR plea than a hidden desire to change the world. Still, I would feel better giving my dollars to organizations that are willing to give back.
  • Get your own PR boost. Regardless of if you can get a tax break from the donations (have asked the organization and will let you know if I hear back), your organization can still use GoodShop and spread the word about the work you're doing to help a given charity. (No one else needs to know the money is simply coming from routine purchases.) For a bigger boost, find a local charity that is relevant to your business to support and you could even get some coverage in that organization's newsletter.

Do you think this is a good idea, and will you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter


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