It’s as simple as it is brilliant; a Google Chrome extension that collects ad revenue from every new tab that users open. But instead of merely making profit off those ads, they donate a considerable part of those revenues to various charities. In other words, Tab for a Cause has found a remarkably clever and nice way to help people from all over the world with money made from digital advertising. It’s global marketing the way it should work!
That in itself is a marvelous marketing idea, and as fans of meaningful marketing, All Good Newz applauds this grant business idea.
How does Tab for a Cause work?
Well, once you’ve installed the extension and signed in, you are greeted by the above tab. In the upper right corner, you’ll see how much money the app has gathered for charity. Since the company’s birth back in 2011, Tab for a Cause has raised over 830.000 dollars. By this time next year, they will most certainly have smashed the 1 million dollar barrier. That is incredible!
Next to that amount you can see a little heart with a number. That’s the amount of tabs that you have opened. The hearts can be donated to different charity organizations directly via the settings menu. Gamification is a great way of increasing participation and engagement, and in the case of Tab for a Cause, it most definitely works! It simply is fun and feels good to open new tabs and see the number of hearts growing each and every day.
We are proud and happy to say that we were able to send a few interview questions over to the guys and the answers we received were extremely interesting and detailed:
How did you get the idea for this app and how did you get things started?
“The idea for Tab for a Cause came from conversations my co-founder Kevin and I had marveling at the amount of money in online advertising, and trying to come up with a way to direct some of that towards a good cause. The idea came to us while we were both in college. At the time, the default browser new tab page was completely blank. We saw that blank space as an opportunity to turn something we do every day (open tabs) into a charitable act using a few banner ads, and then taught ourselves how to code well enough to launch the first version. Tab for a Cause has come quite a ways from there, but the core idea remains the same: Raise money for charity simply by surfing the web!”
Their concept is awesomely innovative and the company both manages to make large donations and show a very decent and increasing profit margin! It’s a smooth and modern way of combining business with charity work. It aids companies in:
- Building a meaningful and positive brand image
- Attracting work force that is looking for something other than a faceless and merely profit-oriented company
- Helping to contribute to a more stable vital global economy in the future
And why not? Such a business model should become the new norm, when thinking in terms of sustainability and redistribution of wealth.
How does it feel to run a company that is based on the combo modern technology and charity?
“To be honest, we don’t think about this a ton as we didn’t really set out to be a technology company. We were simply students who spent the majority of our days on computers and wanted to do something more with that time. We re-purposed a bunch of existing technologies (internet browsing, online ads, browser extensions, charity donations) towards our goal of making internet time more charitable. Our biggest impact is in giving more people access to charitable donations. Not everyone has $20 to donate, but we certainly all have a few extra seconds as we go about our internet browsing.”
Alex, one of the founders of Tab for a Cause, whom I interviewed for this article, had a very good point there. This way of contributing and donating is a very direct and noticeable one. You literally want to open more tabs. And if you forget about it and open a new tab automatically, you’ll instantly be happy when the whole concept rushes back into your memory.
The feature of being able to donate directly on the spot makes it a charity, if an infinitesimal one, that you yourself made happen and one that you can choose, send off and track at any given time during any given day. It’s the ultimate charity near me and you!
Can you tell us about some of the charity organizations you work with?
“The two charities that have received the most Tab for a Cause support in the last year are Give Directly (a non-profit that provides direct cash transfers, allowing people to determine the best use of aid resources) and Conservation International (a non-profit focused on protecting our environment). Both organizations do outstanding work, and also provide supporters with clear information about why the work they are doing is important and has an impact.”
Using paid advertising and using the revenue to support charity is capitalism at its best; meaningful and sustainable! It also gives the ads visible on the internet a whole new image. Namely one, which can be associated with something other than mere consumerism. One almost feels content and proud when ads of such nature show up on the screen!
It’s just like Alex reasoned; if companies like Facebook would donate 10% of their annual ad revenues to charity (in the case of Facebook, that would add up to roughly $ 6 billion), the world would look very differently! Tab For a Cause is definitely on the right track and we wanted to finish the article with one last question about the future of their endeavors.
What’s the ultimate goal for your company?
“We would love for Tab for a Cause to become a philanthropic force in the world at large. A foundation created by smaller contributions from millions of individuals working towards community-directed goals. To reach that goal, we want to continue finding unique opportunities where users can turn things they are already doing into charitable acts. For instance, we recently started testing versions of Search for a Cause (raise money for charity each time you search online) that will work in tandem with Tab for a Cause.”