December 11, 2012

By: Daniel Richman

Looking to support a cause but strapped for cash? Don’t worry, a new app lets people get involved and raise money just by surfing the web.

The innovative approach to online donating, dubbed“Tab For A Cause”, is the brainchild of Silicon Valley web developers Alex Groth and Kevin Jennison. As college students, Groth and Jennison sought ways to contribute to charities but both felt, as many of us young, debt-stricken people do, that financially they were not in a position to make an impact. With backgrounds in computer science, they looked to the Internet as a way to better connect charities with people looking to lend a hand. It seems that after some inspired brainstorming and ingenuity, Groth and Jennison have done so, creating a way that “everyone can be giving to charity regardless of (their) monetary worth”.

How Tabs for a Cause Works

On a basic level, the app works by selling online advertising space and directing 100% of the money to charities. What sets the app apart is that it takes advantage of advertising space no one actually owned, specifically the blank “new tab” screen that pops up every time we open a new browser window.

It works like this: Having downloaded and added the web extension from Tab For A Cause’s homepage, the app then replaces one in every few blank browser tabs that pop up with special pages designed by the team at “Tab For a Cause”. These special pages include blogs with information about the various causes they support and how to donate, in addition to the advertisements. From this page, you can choose to donate or not, but here’s the kicker: you’ve already contributed.

Every time you open a new tab and see the page, if only for a moment, the advertising company being displayed donates a fraction of a penny to the “Tab For A Cause” group of your designation. By opening that tab alone, you have effectively donated a fraction of a penny to your cause.

Making a Difference Already

While a fraction of a penny itself is not much, Groth and Jennison agree that with how often people frequent the Internet, “those pennies add up”. So far, they’ve been right. Since its launch in August, these fractions of a penny have already had a big impact: with over 3,000 users, “Tab For A Cause” has donated over $4,000 to its charities. Such beneficiaries include among others Educate!, a nonprofit working to develop entrepreneurship across Uganda and, a U.S. based organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries. (See the full list of charities here.)

At ResetSF, we know that times are tough economically, that people are working with strict budgets and have limited room for philanthropy. Having this in mind, we are especially happy to share with you another example of technology working to get people involved. And, we sincerely hope that you take advantage of this free opportunity to help out, a fraction of a penny at a time.

Click here to visit their homepage, download the app, and get started helping charities today!