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GoodSearch is a Yahoo!-powered search engine that donates half of its revenue to a charity designated by the users. The exact amount varies based on advertiser prices, but the typical amount (and the amount used to estimate real-time results) is approximately a penny per search. Users can also shop through GoodSearch's GoodShop and contribute a percentage of the purchase to the designated charity. Organizations typically receive a check in December for the funds raised during GoodSearch's last fiscal year.

NaNoWriMo is currently one of GoodSearch's top charities[1].

The GoodSearch Network

GoodSearch offers a variety of ways to raise money for a charity. They include:

  • GoodSearch: raises around $.01 for a charity with each search
  • GoodShop: click through GoodSearch's link to a shop and buy an item

Former GoodSearch programs include:

  • GoodDining: dine at certain restaurants and donate a percentage (from 2.5% to 6%) of your total
  • GoodGames: play three games and raise $.01
  • GoodTravel: book travel by clicking through GoodSearch
  • GoodSurveys: take a survey and raise money for your charity
  • GoodOffers: complete an offer to raise money a charity
  • GoodTVAds: watch a TV ad and raise $.02
  • GoodSwipe: earn about 3% of your total purchase offline when you buy at certain places

Users can optionally register an account on the GoodSearch site and track how much they raise for the charity of their choice. GoodSearch added this feature in August 2011.

GoodSearch and NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo has been using GoodSearch since 2007 and has raised over $22,000 through searches and shopping, making OLL number three on GoodSearch's all-time top earners chart. As of September 2012 OLL has also raised more money through GoodSearch than any other charity. Because using GoodSearch is easy and free, OLL promotes its use during NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo as an easy way for participants to support them when unable to do so financially.

In October 2010 GoodSearch held a contest promoting the download of the site's toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox with a prize of $100 to each of the first 100 organizations to reach 100 downloads and $1000 to the top five organizations. Leo Fair mentioned the contest in the All-Ages Coffee House on 3 October [1], which prompted Wrimos to download the toolbar in droves. OLL was in first place until 26 October when the Illinois State University chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha pushed OLL to second place but thankfully still in the top five. OLL finished in second place with 683 downloads and won a $1000 donation on top of a $100 donation for being one of the first hundred organizations to reach 100 downloads.

How to use GoodSearch

  1. Visit the GoodSearch website.
  2. Enter "The Office of Letters and Light" in the box that asks "Who do you GoodSearch for?" and click "Verify".
  3. Make sure that OLL comes up. It's based in Berkeley, California. Select it.
  4. Search as you normally do. Remember, three searches a day produce over ten dollars a year. That's halo-level money, and all you had to do was change your search engine. Disclaimer: You won't actually get a halo.

How to use GoodShop

  1. Visit the GoodShop page.
  2. Make sure OLL is listed as your charity of choice. If not, do a search for it under "Who do you GoodShop for?" and verify.
  3. Here you have a lot of leeway. Search for your product or store, or just look at some of the stores listed. When you've decided where to go, click through to go to that site.
  4. Buy your product. Enjoy. You don't pay any more than you normally would, and OLL also gets a donation.

GoodSearch tips

Here are some tips to help you (and OLL) get the most out of GoodSearch.

  • Set GoodSearch as your browser's default search engine in your browser, and then when you search for something GoodSearch will do it.
  • If you're shopping somewhere online, see if that store's listed on GoodSearch first. You could raise a buck or two for OLL with minimal effort.
    • Amazon is an exception here. You don't get credit to your own GoodSearch account for raising that amount, but OLL does get credit for whatever you buy on Amazon by clicking through GoodSearch. This is because Amazon doesn't let GoodSearch track donations earned by user, just by cause. But if you're shopping on Amazon, more money gets donated if you use OLL's affiliate link (6% as opposed to 1.5%), or alternately use Amazon Smile.
  • This one's a little tricked out, but it works: Instantfox is a Firefox addon that lets you configure all your search engines and turn your address bar into a search bar for all the search engines. It also lets you highlight a term and search for it. If you're a highlight as you read type, you can highlight an item, tell GoodSearch to search for it, and bam, a cent raised. That adds up.


  1. Email from Grant Faulkner and seeing the chart when it was on the GoodSearch site

External Links