Tucson Arts Brigade has found a relatively painless way for supporters to donate to their cause. The self-described “civically engaged arts and education organization” has launched a web browser toolbar (which you can download here). Each time someone uses the toolbar to search the Internet or to shop, Tucson Arts Brigade gets a cut, which they use to organize mural painting, dance and puppetry events, among other things.
The idea is that you may not have time to volunteer or cash to hand over, but you probably do a fair bit of web searching. (You’re reading this blog post, after all.) Why not ensure that some piece of the revenue produced goes to a good cause?
The technology that Tucson Arts Brigade is using comes from GoodSearch, a search engine that donates 50 percent of its sponsored search revenue to charities and schools designated by its users. The search is powered by Yahoo, and the money donated comes from advertisers. The idea was the brainchild of Ken Ramberg (the founder of JOBTRAK, now a division of Monster.com) and JJ Ramberg (an MSNBC anchor and the former director of marketing at Cooking.com). They figured diverting some of the $8 billion search engines make yearly to charities would be a good idea, and they created the technology to help make that possible. Since the company’s 2005 launch, lots of charities have come on board.
The toolbar is no panacea for nonprofit fundraising in a down economy, but it is easy. GoodSearch makes the stats available so you can track your impact in your chosen charity’s revenue. Tucson Arts Brigade has received $244.43 through GoodSearch since it started using the service in December 2010.
In this season of giving, however, this is probably one of the easier ways. That’s why, although administrators have been quietly using the technology for years, they sent out an email blast about the technology only more recently.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Jodi Netzer, the group’s outreach and marketing director. “We’ll see what happens.”
Netzer is especially excited about GoodShop, an online shopping service that sends a percentage of every purchase to a designated nonprofit.
If you’re going to do it anyway, why not send a little love to a cause you believe in?
Note: The initial post said that Tucson Arts Brigade began using the service in 2007. In fact, the group began using it last year.