A penny saved, a penny donated

Abbey Stirgwolt

Search engine allows users to give profits

A new search engine lets Internet users donate to charities without spending a cent.

Goodsearch, powered by Yahoo!, broadens the horizons of Internet search technology by donating a portion of profits from every Internet search to whatever charity the searcher chooses, said Ken Ramberg, Goodsearch co-founder and president.

“Fifty percent of revenue – that’s approximately a penny per search – gets donated to whatever cause users select,” Ramberg said.

Goodsearch, launched in November, features a typical search bar accompanied by a space for users to submit a charity to which they’d like to contribute.

Users can also add their own charities to Goodsearch’s database – which includes local organizations and schools – provided that they’re willing to wait a couple days for Goodsearch to verify their organization’s validity.

“Before the nonprofit gets posted, we do our best to verify it,” Ramberg said.

This is to prevent users from entering false organizations, as any organization that cannot be verified becomes “de-listed.”

The Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy foundation, which now displays an advertisement for Goodsearch on its Web site, has officially been registered with Goodsearch for about a month, FSMA representative Lenna Scott said.

Already, the potential of Goodsearch’s impact on FSMA is becoming evident, Scott said.

“It’s another method for members to contribute without having to reach into their own pockets,” she said.

She said in the past, most of FSMA’s donations have come from small fundraisers such as bake sales and car washes.

“If Goodsearch can help FSMA through people doing what they regularly do, it’s a win-win situation for us,” she said.

Ramberg said various organizations around the country are doing what they can to spread the word about Goodsearch.

“It is growing faster than we expected,” he said.

The concept of donating without spending money seems to have a special appeal to college students, as various universities have held rallies and dance marathons to raise money for Goodsearch, Ramberg said.

Kent State students are no exception.

“I would absolutely use it – I think it’s a great idea,” sophomore biology major Ashley Maier said.

The Goodsearch search engine can be accessed at www.goodsearch.com.

Contact technology reporter Abbey Stirgwolt at [email protected]