It seems that Internet fundraising could not get simpler than this. iGive [formerly eyegive] claim that “Just visiting does good.”
They are teaming up with advertisers who publish adverts on the Web: every time a registered member of iGive clicks on an advert presented to them, the advertiser donates a small sum to the member’s favourite charity. By selecting iGive as one’s browser homepage, members can help generate income for their charity every time they use the Web, at no cost to the member or the charity.
Currently, as the initiative reaches the end of its test phase, there are 309 US non-profits listed as beneficiaries, but it is easy to nominate your own favourite and expand this number.
The simplicity of the service is compelling. “Supporting your favorite charity or cause can be as easy as starting your Internet browser…We make raising money simple, automatic, anonymous, and cost-free”, say iGive. “Imagine millions of people throwing our advertisers nickels, dimes and quarters into a Web-based donation box.”
The initiative’s success, of course, depends on attracting enough members, but the potential is there. “When you begin to multiply what advertisers pay by the number of times you start your browser and by the number of folks who use the Web, it adds up fast.”
Privacy is an issue for many Web users, and iGive does ask for certain lifestyle data to help provide more appropriate advertising. However, iGive state that “neither advertisers nor your favorite nonprofit ever need to know who you are”, due to the anonymity built into the operation.
iGive’s Robert Grosshandler told UK Fundraising that they expected to “start out with about US$10 – US$15 annually from the average member to his or her favorite nonprofit. We expect to increase that dramatically once we prove this particular delivery vehicle to be effective.”
It sounds too good to be true, but there are similar opt-in Web advertising schemes available. These, however, tend to pass on commission payments to the participator, not to a charity. So, as iGive suggest, “unleash the power of the Internet to help raise funds for your favorite worthy cause.”
iGive are planning to expand this operation, so anyone interested in partnering them in Europe should contact them directly.
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