Tab for a Cause — An Easy Way to Raise Funds for Charity
If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
My answer to this question is always the same: Pay my tuition. Most college students don’t have money to spare, and if you manage to earn a few bucks, it goes towards books or school supplies. So, when someone asks you to donate to charity, it’s hard to contribute.
Four college students – Kevin Jennison, Alex Groth, Joel Detweiler, and Sam Ward-Packard tackled this problem. On August 4th they launched Tab for a Cause (TFAC), a browser extension that allows the user to donate to charity simply by opening a new tab.
“Companies dump an absurd amount of money into Internet advertising every day,” explains Jennison, president and co-founder of TFAC. “I realized that if even a small fraction of that advertising revenue could go toward charitable work, the results could be astounding.”
A Simple Solution
Jennison and his team wanted to create a solution that was profitable, but also easy to use. Setting up Tab for a Cause is very simple. First, go to the TFAC website and download the browser extension for either Firefox or Chrome.
Next, choose one of six charities, and select how often a new tab opens a TFAC page. Jennison’s team collects advertising revenue from the ads that you see on the TFAC page. All of that money goes to the charity you chose.
TFAC is not a certified nonprofit, but the group is taking steps to make their financial transactions transparent.
“The best way for a nonprofit to be certified is to apply for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS,” explains Jennison. “Unfortunately, this is a lengthy process that requires almost a thousand dollars, which we don’t have. The best way for TFAC to be transparent is to display our tax forms, budget, and receipts from the nonprofits to which we donate.”
Once TFAC has completed the donation process, they will post all their financial information on the website.
There are currently six charities to choose from: Water.org, Room to Read, Human Rights Watch, Save the Children, Conservation International, and International Peace Institute. Once you’ve chosen your charity, TFAC will open a page that contains a blog post about that charity’s cause.
“While the most important feature of Tab for a Cause is the limited effort required to participate, we also want to encourage our users to become more involved with their cause,” explains Alex Groth, Vice-President and co-founder of TFAC. “We hope these blog sections will provide an opportunity for our users to share their thoughts on the issues they feel strongly about.”
TFAC’s creators wrote the current blog posts. But, tabbers can submit their own photos and blog posts by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tabbing for the Future
The TFAC team has big plans for the organization’s future. “In the coming months we will launch a browser extension for Safari users,” says Groth. “Also, we hope to build a Facebook app that will allow users to see the tabbing activity of their friends.”
They also plan to expand the number of charities that tabbers can support. Tabbers will be able to suggest which charities they think TFAC should support.
“We hope Tab for a Cause becomes something that people embrace as their own. We take users’ suggestions seriously, and look to feedback as our main source of direction,” says Jennison.
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