Everyone is familiar with the traditional way of giving to charities and nonprofits; direct credit card or PayPal donations on a charity’s or nonprofit’s donation page. Some are also familiar with less familiar ways of giving through organizations like Amazon Smile and Ebay for Charity.
But did you know that you can also give to worthy causes by performing a very common internet activity?
Search engines make money by people clicking on displayed ads and sponsored links on their results pages, and it is big business. On the top 5 (Google Search, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and Yandex,) there are around 4.02 Billion searches per day worldwide. The revenues from Google Search contributed a significant portion of Alphabet’s (Google’s parent company) 2019 $113.26 Billion revenues.
If charities and nonprofits could tap into even a fraction of those revenues, it would be a game-changer for the impact they could make.
In this post, we’re going to tell you about some search sites that you’ve probably never heard of that donate a portion of their profits or revenues to charities and nonprofits. They are in no order.
We have excluded charitable sites that are not entirely in English.
GiveWater donates all their profit to organizations that seek to provide clean water to the 844 million people around the world living without it. Their current Trusted Partners are Living Water International and water.org.
GiveWater is currently an LLC, but plans to become a B Corporation. According to their About page, their staff take no salaries, and the organization holds to the “Toms Shoes philosophy that for profit or “social enterprises” companies can do more good by operating as a for profit company.”
They “plan on publishing” their monthly contributions in the near future.
Ekoru focuses on the oceans; specifically keeping them clean and replanting seagrass on the ocean floor.
Ekoru has two beneficiary organizations; Big Blue Ocean Cleanup and Operation Posidonia, to which 60% of their revenues go. The remainder goes towards operating costs, salaries, and development. They also have a number of affiliate organizations which they promote on their home page.
Their FAQ page states that they will publish “revenue raised and receipts of donations made for each highlighted cause,” but that it may take time for this to happen. However, there are no financial statements available yet on their website.
Ekoru’s searches are powered by Microsoft.
OceanHero is another search site that focuses on the ocean, but this time the focus is on removing plastic.
They claim that the revenue from five searches pays for the removal of one plastic bottle from the ocean. In partnership with Plastic Bank, a social enterprise, and their global network of local community collectors, the recovered plastic is recycled into social plastic that can be used by manufacturers to create other products.
OceanHero publishes the number of searches performed and the number of bottles removed from the oceans. They claim to have paid for the removal of almost 14,000,000 plastic bottles since their launch in October 2019.
OceanHero’s search results are powered by Microsoft.
Ecosia focuses on planting trees through local partners in mainly South America, Africa and Indonesia. They are a registered B Corporation incorporated in Germany (the first to be so in Germany) and donate 80% of their ad revenue profits.
By June 2019, they had helped to plant 60 million trees.
Ecosia also claims to be carbon-negative by building their own solar power plants to power their searches and feed power back into the grid, which means that, coupled with their tree planting, their activities remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Ecosia’s searches are powered by Microsoft.
Givero allows users to support a range of causes from Nature & Climate, Technology, Children, and Animals, with Eden Reforestation Projects being their official partner. Users can choose one, or more causes to support. Multiple causes supported are rotated with each search.
Givero is a privately owned company registered in Denmark, with all capital investments coming from its owner, Brian Schildt Laursen.
Givero donates half of their generated revenue to the causes it supports, the exact amounts being prorated for the number of searches supporting each cause. There are detailed monthly financial reports from November 2018 until August 2019. There is no explanation for the lack of reporting from September 2019 until now.
Givero’s searches are powered by Microsoft.
SearchScene focuses on “supporting charities that help fight climate change and alleviate the suffering caused by climate change.” The charities they support are the big ones, like UNICEF, OXFAM, and WWF. It is owned by Cyberspace Media Ltd, incorporated in the UK.
SearchScene donates 95% of its profits from search ads to the charities it supports–the largest percentage of any charitable search engine–prorated according to the number of votes each charity receives.
Although only launched in March 2020, it has a comprehensive impact page detailing its contributions to the causes it supports.
What’s different about SearchScene is that it has a nice image background to its search page, the images being pulled from the Internet. You can switch this off if you like.
There are browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
SearchScene’s searches are powered by Microsoft, but enhanced with its own algorithms to provide more information.
Each category is a Good Deed, which you choose when you first use YouCare. You can choose to support all or specific organizations in each category. To change your Good Deed, you must create an account.
It donates 80% of its profits to Good Deeds, and the actual work is carried out by partner organizations around the world.
YouCare doesn’t publish its financials, but does publish details of donation certificates issued by supporting organizations.
YouCare is a limited company (SAS) incorporated in France, and claims to be 100% carbon neutral by offsetting operating emissions by financing the planting of trees through Eden Reforestation Projects.
YouCare has extensions for all the major web browsers and apps for Android and iOS.
YouCare’s searches are powered by Microsoft.
We have only talked about seven sites that donate part of their profits or revenues to charities, nonprofits, and other good causes. There are probably many that we have missed. If you know of one not covered in this post, let us know, and we can update this list.
Search for Passive Giving
Like buying from Amazon Smile, Ebay for Charity, or dropping loose change into a charity box after shopping, using a charity search site is an example of passive giving, where the act of donating to a good cause becomes a normalized background result of performing everyday activities. Your individual contributions may not appear to be much, but over time, and with more people doing the same, it soon adds up. As an ad for a famous supermarket in the UK said, “Every little helps!”
Change your search provider today, and help organizations around the world make a positive impact.