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"I even have GoodSearch saved on my home computer," stated Ferguson. "Raising money through GoodSearch is an example of how our school's fundraising efforts are entering the digital age.
It is about time we caught up with the students," she added.
GoodSearch, which is powered by Yahoo, operates like other search engines and returns results that users say are just as effective. There is no sacrifice in speed or quality of searches, and GoodSearch offers an optional safe search filter which sifts out adult Web search results.
"The only difference is that every time you do a search, GoodSearch will donate a penny to your school," explains JJ Ramberg, an MSNBC anchor who founded the site with her brother, Ken. "This is an ideal fundraiser in a school setting as students, faculty, and parents already use search engines, so GoodSearch offers them a way to turn something they are already doing into a way to support the school."
GoodSearch is also an ideal fundraiser for schools because it does not require that the students, faculty, or parents buy or sell anything. Instead, when just 500 people search four times a day and designate the same school, their activity will generate about $7,300 for that school over the course of a year.
"There are now more than 64,000 schools and nonprofits utilizing the GoodSearch search engine," Ramberg told Education World. "As many of our users say, Why wouldn't I use it?! GoodSearch has also been featured in the popular press by organizations such as O, The Oprah Magazine, ABC News, CNN and The New York Times."
Launched in 2005, GoodSearch is a free service that has mailed thousands of checks to nonprofits and schools across the country. It recently unveiled GoodShop.com, a related online shopping mall that donates a percentage of each purchase to the user's designated nonprofit or school. With more than 700 top retailers participating -- from Wal-Mart to Amazon.com, eBay, and Target -- online shoppers have little reason not to help their schools and other organizations through their purchases. No user registration is required, so school supporters do not need to provide personal information or remember a password.
"Users simply go to GoodShop.com, designate their school, click through to the store of their choice, and shop as they normally would," Ramberg added. "The consumer pays nothing extra, but a percentage of each purchase will go to the school."
Article by Cara Bafile
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