ShopGreen- A Shopping Guide For Eco-Friendly Products

PriceGrabber.com has launched ShopGreen, a shopping engine that highlights products that “promote a smart, sustainable approach to environmental living”. Products range from “organic t-shirts to Energy Star-compliant PCs”.

ShopGreen donates 5% of all profits to charities that promote environmental conservation. Each month, ShopGreen posts a new selection of green charities. Shoppers can vote for a charity of their choice each month. At the end of the month, ShopGreen sends 5% of all profits to the organization with the most votes.

Project Agape– A Tech Social Venture Leverages Facebook’s Network


Called “Causes on Facebook,” it allows you to create a cause, or promote an existing one to their friends You can pick from 1.5 million non-profits in the U.S. It uses Facebook’s “feed” feature to notify friends when you’ve joined a new cause. Finally, it allows you to promote the cause in other ways, building up points through a reward system, letting you show off virtual trophies that you win on your profile page after say, donating money. Ultimately, it wants to make it easier to raise money for causes. It launches with formal partnerships with ten non-profits.

A few things to note about Project Agape. First, the founder, Sean Parker, is most popular for his cofounding of Napster. Since then he’s led several high profile internet startups but this is his first philanthropic venture. He was CEO of Facebook at one point, and it was most likely this connection that allowed him to get early access to Facebook’s new platform, which was just announced today.

“Causes on Facebook” was announced today with the “intent to showcase the strengths of Facebook’s new “Platform,” a set of tools to allow developers to build applications upon Facebook. The screenshots over at Venturebeat are pretty cool. You can check them out directly here and here.

The Members Project: American Express Rallying Members To Do Some Good For The World

Just found out about this program from American Express– this is how it works:

1. American Express rounds up card members to join. For each member, AMEX will donate $1 to The Member’s Project.
2. Members read, rate, and discuss the projects submitted by fellow Cardmembers.
3. Members are encouraged to submit projects or ideas.
4. Members vote for the winning idea.

Here’s their official copy:

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Introducing The Members Project, an exciting new initiative that brings American Express® Cardmembers together to do something good for our world.

Join Cardmembers to dream up, and ultimately unite behind, one incredible idea. American Express will bring it to life with up to $5 million.

So where does the money come from? It’s all about power in numbers. For every Cardmember that registers, American Express contributes $1 — up to $5 million for that one winning idea.*

Will you send meningitis vaccines to Africa? Rebuild a school in New Orleans? Or support small organic farmers? The possibilities are endless. The decision is yours. Join The Members Project today.

Get involved at membersproject.com.

Ebay To Open A Microfinance Marketplace

PSD blog reports that Ebay plans to open up a virtual marketplace for microfinance:

Microplace – a new subsidiary of the world’s largest virtual market place – will open for business this fall. A free-market-like web platform, the site will generate a supply of investors to meet the rapidly growing demand for capital in microfinance.

In other news, Marginal Revolution blogs about Natalie Portman’s foray into microfinance. Also linked in the story is the Financial Times article about Portman’s project and an unrelated article about microfinance in Africa.

$100 OLPC To Cost $175

Some updates on the One Laptop Per Child project hit the newswire last week. Negroponte, the leader of the project, announced how much his computers will cost.

The founder of the ambitious “$100 laptop” project, which plans to give inexpensive computers to schoolchildren in developing countries, revealed Thursday that the machine for now costs $175, and it will be able to run Windows in addition to its homegrown, open-source interface.

If you want to read something more thought provoking, here is a Forrester blog post on the computer, called the XO.

The XO laptop is designed for social computing. It is the social computer. One of the main apps is a screen that shows who else in the village is online — in fact, the whole system gets its Internet access from a mesh so that if one XO in the village can reach the net (presumably from a classroom or some other central location, often by satellite), the others can all reach it too through their own connections.

Also, on a unrelated but related note, check out this article in today’s NY Times about schools in the US dropping laptop programs because there was no evidence that it had a positive impact on student achievement.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) For Non-Profits and Charities

Last week was Search Engine Strategies, which is the largest industry conference for internet search. Search marketers flocked to New York City to participate in workshops, network, and learn about new trends in the industry. One of the sessions was on search engine marketing for non-profits and charities and Search Engine Roundtable does a nice job transcribing it. This could be pretty useful for those of you who are responsible for marketing your non-profit or charity. Topics discussed include Google Grants, social media, and various search strategies.

Win $1,000 for Your Favorite Cause

Just passing this along from Squidoo:

Earlier this week, we announced a photo contest in conjunction with VolunteerMatch called Kindness in Focus.

Here’s how it works:

1) You send in great photos that capture moments of everyday kindness
2) The community votes on their favorites
3) The two people who submitted the best pictures win $1,000 each, to donate to the nonprofit of their choice.

For all the details on how to enter, check out
www.kindnessinfocus.com

Zaadz- Social Networking for Spiritual Changemakers

Zaadz, a social network for conscious capitalists , just received funding from John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods.

I have to admit that I’ve never heard of Zaadz until now but it looks like a promising community of like minded folks wanting to “change the world”

Our Mission. We’re gonna change the world. Our math goes like this: you be the change + you follow your bliss + you give your greatest strengths to the world moment to moment to moment + we do everything in our power to help you succeed + you inspire and empower everyone you know to do the same + we team up with millions like us = we just affected billions = we (together) changed the world.

Read more about their mission here. I don’t know anything about Zaadz, so check out their entry on Wikipedia for more info. Note that there is some criticism about the social network.

Everyclick.com – A UK-based Charity Search Engine

I’ve written extensively about charity affinity search engines. These are search engines that attract users because they give a portion of their revenues to charity. Another one just landed on my radar– Everyclick.com is a search engine that is powered by Ask.com for both their paid listings (advertisements) and normal search listings.

everyclick allocates 50% of its gross revenue to charity each month. Each active charity receives a proportion of that sum equivalent to the proportion in which its supporters use the website relative to the supporters of other active charities. The activity of everyclick website users who do not select a specific charity will benefit all active charities on a pro rata basis.

All website activity by users is measured by reference to the number of searches that website users make – so every click really does count!

So everyclick gives 50% of its gross revenues to a charity of your choice. This is important to note. Everyclick is not a non-profit— they keep 50% of the gross revenues for themselves. They recently signed a deal with SideStep.com, a travel search engine, so business must be good.