Innovation: Open a New Browser Tab, Give to Charity

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October 15, 2012; Source: Los Angeles Times

How many tabs do we open on the Web daily? According to data from Tab for a Cause, the average is about ten tabs per person per day, and this new charitable organization is generating donations with every click. The founders of Tab for a Cause, Alex Groth and Kevin Jennison, are two college students that created this browser extension which, once installed, will donate from a tenth to a fifth of a cent each time you open a new tab in your Internet browser. Installing Tab for a Cause replaces the blank tab that normally appears with a new tab page that contains both advertising and information about certain charities.

Tab for a Cause is applying to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status. It receives money from the advertising partners featured on its tab pages and banner ads, and 100 percent of that money is then directed to a charity. How is it possible to do deliver 100 percent of revenue raised as donations without losing anything to overhead costs? “We just look at any operating costs as our donation to charity,” Groth tells the Los Angeles Times. Currently, the extension settings only allow users to choose how to rank the following causes: water, education, human rights, the environment, children and peace. Tab for a Cause supports, Room to Read, Educate, Human Rights Watch, Conservation International, the International Peace Institute and Save the Children, but they are also working on a system that would allow users to select any charity they would like to benefit.

“Thinking about this we realized that new tab pages are pretty much blank real estate for us to capitalize on and allow charities to reach people,” said co-founder Kevin Jennison. Since the organization started in August, they have gained 3,000 users and collected $4,000 in donations. What do NPQ readers think about this new model? –Aine Creedon