Back in the early days of the web the click to donate fundraising model was born. What began with The Hunger Site quickly spread to other fields, as people were offered a compelling way to raise money for causes that mattered to them. The concept was a simple one. People would click a donate button, and then be shown one or more banner ads, with each impression thus paying for the donation.
As you can imagine, the sums raised per click were quite small, but when viewed collectively they added up to some decent sums, with sites making a decent contribution to causes from hunger to rainforest protection. As the affiliate model grew, so too did avenues for people to raise money, with their web searches and online purchases also contributing to good causes.
How has this model evolved in our modern, crowdfunding era? It’s certainly not as prevalent as it was, largely you suspect because advertisers realised these views or clicks weren’t really that valuable. One site that has endured (albeit in multiple incarnations) is ClickToDonate.org.
Rather than the donate by banner impression model of old, ClickToDonate use search advertising for their fundraising. Each click on ads in a search result generates funds for a charity, of which you can choose from multiple. It’s powered by a browser plug-in that ensures the searches you make go via the ClickToDonate affiliate links. A nice touch is that it also comes with a ticker on your browser that notifies you of how much you have raised thus far.
Now it should be said that the site takes 50% of any money ‘raised’ via users online activities, and it’s as yet unclear how the site deals with users that are perhaps a little enthusiastic in their clicking. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see the old click to donate model still going. You can find out more about ClickToDonate.org via their promo video below.