Giving to a Good Cause With the Click of a Mouse

By: Katie Heinz Email
By: Katie Heinz Email

According to the National Retail Federation, more than 72,000,000 Americans are expected to shop online Monday during so-called "Cyber Monday."

But did you know you could do a good deed by getting those gifts online?

The crowds are cruising to the malls, but the National Retail Federation says 15 percent more people are expected to shop online for holiday gifts this year than in 2006.

Now, a pair of Web sites are offering online shoppers - and anyone searching the Internet - a way to help a good cause without leaving home or spending any money.

"The way Goodshop works is a percentage of the purchase price from any merchants listed goes to your favorite cause," said Goodshop.com and Goodsearch.com co-founder JJ Ramberg.

Goodshop.com allows you to shop online and click on one of 47,000 registered nonprofit organizations and schools - including dozens in western Wisconsin - you'd like your purchase to benefit.

"Everybody out there cares about a cause," Ramberg said. "For some, it may be saving the environment. For some, it may be finding homes for homeless veterans. But we don't have the extra money or time."

You can shop from hundreds of Web sites and see what percentage of your money will be donated to a good cause.

One of those causes is the Trinity Equestrian Center in Eau Claire.

"Our mission is to serve underprivileged, at-risk, even special needs riders," said Trinity Equestrian Center Owner Toni Mattson. "Our goal is to connect people and horses and God."

A big mission relying on a lot of help from donors.

"Most of the organizations we work with don't have a lot of funds to work with," Mattson said.

That's why JJ Ramberg and her brother Ken, created Goodshop.com and Goodsearch.com.

"Goodsearch.com is a search engine powered by Yahoo," Ramberg said. "You use it as you would any other search engine. The only difference is we donate 50 percent of our revenue. So every time you do a search, about a penny goes to your favorite cause."

Pennies that can add up to help organizations like this, with every click of your mouse.

"We wanted to take something we do everyday and turn it into doing good and provide people with an easy way to support their causes," Ramberg said.

"It's an awesome opportunity for nonprofits to very easily accumulate some donation funds," Mattson said.

All of the donations are tallied and given to the organizations on an annual basis.

To find out which western Wisconsin organizations are participating on Goodsearch.com and Goodshop.com, click on "Featured Links" on this Web site.


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