Monday, January 23, 2006
Interview with Ken Ramberg, Founder, GoodSearch.com
I recently ran across Los Angeles-based GoodSearch.com (www.goodsearch.com), a web site that allows you to search the Internet, but with a new twist. The site provides a portion of its proceeds to the charity of your choice. I spoke with Ken Ramberg, founder of GoodSearch.com. Ken is the former founder of JOBTRAK.com. He told me a bit about how GoodSearch is tying together web search and charity donations.
BK: What is GoodSearch, and how does your service work?
KR: GoodSearch is a search engine (powered by Yahoo!) that donates 50% of its revenue to the charity or school of the user's choice. It's really a very simple concept - the site provides people a way to support their favorite organization just by searching the Internet as they normally would. While we had high expectations for the site, it's catching on even faster than we ever expected!
BK: Why GoodSearch, what's your background, and what's the story behind the site?
KR: In 1988 I founded JOBTRAK.com, a job listing and resume database for college students. By the year 2000 the company powered the career sites for most of the nation's university career centers. In November, 2000, JOBTRAK was acquired by Monster.com and still exists today under the MonsterTRAK brand.
With the passing of my Mother Connie to cancer in 2001, I became involved with a number of charitable organizations. I quickly recognized the challenge smaller organizations have in regards to fundraising. By focusing on two of my passions, the Internet and charity, the idea for GoodSearch crystallized.
BK: Where do you get your search results?
KR: Our search engine is powered by Yahoo! so our visitors to our site receive the same high-quality search results that they require and are accustomed to.
BK: What's the business model behind GoodSearch, and how much do you give to charities?
KR: Fifty percent of our revenue is distributed to charities and schools. The revenue is divided among the organizations based on how many times supporters of that charity or school use the site. We estimate that a charity with 1,000 supporters searching the internet twice a day will receive $7,300 at the end of the year. The more people who use the site, the more money an organization can earn. The sky is the limit!