We all do it. Well, most of us do it. Some of us are doing it more than once a day. We search the internet at work, home, school and just for fun.
J.J. and Ken Ramberg, a brother and sister team, founded a search engine simply called GoodSearch.com. The name says it all. The search engine is powered by Yahoo! so you are guaranteed excellent results. Since GoodSearch.com’s public launch in November 28, 2005, more than 27,000 organizations have signed up with GoodSearch.com. One hundred more organizations sign up each day.
Step by Step Fundraising is fortunate to have interviewed Co-Founder J.J. Ramberg as she discusses the inspiration for GoodSearch.com, how non-profits can use the search engine and best promote their use of it to raise funds, and their plans for the future.
What was the inspiration for Goodsearch?
Kenny and I know that everyone has a cause they support. For some people its finding a cure for cancer or helping abandoned animals. But not everyone has the time to dedicate to these causes, even if they would like to. So GoodSearch.com gives them a way to support their cause even if they don’t have the time. We’ve seen firsthand how hard it is for an organization to raise much needed funds. My nephew is fatally allergic to peanuts and my sister has spent time raising money for that. My mother passed away from cancer and we have firsthand knowledge of the money needed for people suffering from that disease.
GoodSearch.com is a search engine powered by Yahoo! that donates 50 % of its revenue to the charities and schools that its users designate. This works out to be a penny for every search. If five hundred people search four times a day this would raise $7300 in a year. The key here is that the GoodSearch.com users don’t pay a thing and the organization doesn’t pay a thing. The money comes from advertisers, and you use it exactly as you would any search engine and it is powered by Yahoo! so you will get proven search engine results.
What were you and your brother doing before you started Goodsearch?
My brother founded a company called JobTrack, which now operates as MonsterTrak, it was sold to Monster.com.
I hold an M.B.A. degree from Stanford and worked an internet start up and then worked as a television journalist.
We both are very involved in philanthropy and have been for our entire lives. Now, Ken sits on the board of Phase One. Phase One is an organization that supports Phase One critical research for cancer patients. Ken is also a member of the advisory board of the largest free clinic in the nation.
I have spent time volunteering for micro finance organizations overseas.
How much of an impact has Goodsearch had? How much money has been raised, how many charities have signed up?
More than 27,000 organizations are listed on the site and we add more than 100 a day. To give some examples: The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has raised $2400, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation $2400, The Bubel Aiken Foundation $2100.
Why would you recommend a charity to use Goodsearch?
GoodSearch.com is an effortless way to raise money for your cause. People are searching the internet all day anyway. Why not raise money while they are doing something they are already doing? Last year the market for search engines was six billion dollars. So we founded GoodSearch.com to try to create a way to redirect some of that money to organizations making the world a better place.
What should a charity do when they sign up with Goodsearch?
It’s easy, all you do is go to the GoodSearch.com homepage and click on the button that says “Add a new charity” and fill out a simple application. That then goes through our approval process. Assuming it is legit, it will be up and running in a few days. Then the organization needs to tell all of their supporters to use GoodSearch.com. when they use the internet.
The way organizations let supporters know is through e-mail, blogs, My Space pages, newsletters. They’ve also had the IT department download the GoodSearch.com toolbar into every computer in the organization. They’ve had their corporate sponsors get the word out to their employees. In some cases they also have the corporate employees download the toolbar. Organizations have also written to their local press and had stories written about being on GoodSearch.com. They have mentioned it at events and put up flyers. They’ve also gotten kids to spread the word at school.
Do you have any success stories about a charity that has used Goodsearch?
With The Bubel Aiken Foundation, some of its supporters started writing about GoodSearch.com on their blogs. They jumped from earning four dollars in April to two hundred and ninety dollars in October. That would be their per month’s earning.
What are your plans for Goodsearch for the future?
Our Hope is that everyone uses GoodSearch.com for a cause they care about and that the organization is listed on the GoodSearch.com site.