Using `GoodSearch` can earn money for LCMS groups

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League has a reputation for raising big money through little donations — more than $80 million in its 60-year history, raised primarily by thousands of members who fed their cardboard “mite boxes” with spare change.

Now, the Synod women’s organization is using a similar approach to raise money through the Internet.

Working with “GoodSearch,” a Yahoo-powered Internet search engine that donates 50 percent of its revenue — about a penny per search — to designated charities, LWML leaders are hoping their members’ computer “clicks” will add up to serious mission money.

Since January, when the LWML Board of Directors approved the organization’s listing as a GoodSearch charity, the number of “searches” benefitting the LWML has steadily climbed — from 74 that first month, to 7,224 in February, to a whopping 16,251 through March 29, when this Reporter went to press.

Those 23,549 Internet searches have earned approximately $235.49 for missions, and that’s just a start, according to LWML President Linda Reiser.

“Once again, God has given us reason to say ‘wow!’ and be amazed at how the network of LWML is connected,” Reiser told Reporter.  How much the LWML can earn, she said, is “limited only by the number of people who use GoodSearch and select the LWML as their charity of choice.”

If 1,000 people searched twice a day, for example, the LWML could receive more than $7,000, she noted.  The LWML estimates its membership at about 250,000.
 
Those who use “GoodSearch” to find information on the Internet can designate their favorite charity, which will receive a check from GoodSearch once a year.  To receive a check, the amount raised must be at least $100.  There is no limit to how much a charity can earn, according to GoodSearch President and co-founder Ken Ramberg, and it’s easy for any charity or school to register their organization with GoodSearch.

Supporters have submitted hundreds of Lutheran schools — as well as many national Lutheran organizations, including The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, Lutheran Hour Ministries Foundation, Lutheran World Relief, Lutheran Blind Mission, Lutheran Braille Workers, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service — into the database, Ramberg said.

“GoodSearch gives LWML women another opportunity to raise mission dollars in a very unique way,” said Reiser.  “Since many of us are using search engines on a daily basis anyway, it was easy to sign up with GoodSearch in order to generate some money toward the cause of LWML mission support.

“The potential is huge, the possibilities are exciting, and by February 2007, we will be able to report our first check amount and the board’s direction of those funds for an exciting mission effort.”

“Much like mites add up to produce significant results, so can GoodSearch generate money for missions,” reports the February LWML e-News in a story touting the new fund-raising effort.

Reiser says she is using GoodSearch, “and I know our executive committee members are using it as well.”

Knowing the LWML — and its network of mission-minded women nationwide — GoodSearch likely will be sending the Synod women’s auxiliary a big check.

For information about GoodSearch, visit its Web site at www.goodsearch.com.

Posted March 29, 2006

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