Most people are inherently good in at least some small, out of the way corner of themselves. I have always thought this and maybe that is what gets me into relationships with some pretty bad people. On the other hand, I have seen quite a few people (who society might perceive as being "bad") do some very good things under the right circumstances.
Take me for example. I am not a saint by anyone's standards, but this year I actually donated to Obama for President. It was the first time in my life I actually made a donation to a political campaign. Barak Obama is something of a physical embodiment of his message of change, and I thought then, and do now, that he is the first person of color to have a realistic chance of being elected President.
Most Americans would like to do something for someone, to feel as though they make even a small difference in our world. Just working to pay the bills takes up most of our time, and even with the best intentions it is hard to get anything done, so most of us end up doing very little.
Today I ran across a site that claims to allow anyone and everyone to do something positive for various causes just by clicking on links to sponsor sites. A friend of mine had links to this site on her Myspace page, so I checked them out. I thought it was a cool idea, but I wanted to dig a little deeper before I gave the site any publicity. After all, there are so many things on the web that are either totally bogus or pretty questionable at best.
Greater Good Network is run by CharityUSA.com, a for-profit company based in Seattle, Washinton. It has been around in one form or another since 1999. The company sells advertising on its site. The advertisers pay CharityUSA on a per-click basis for the traffic the site drives to theirs. A part of the proceeds are then donated to the charities represented on the site.
This is pretty much how Google’s "Ad Sense" program works. I had an account with Ad Sense when I was running my blog. I was making around $300 a month from it, so I know from personal experience that the concept does work.
I did some quick research on the web about the company and found the news on them is heavily weighted to the positive. Snopes gives a positive analysis of the site and references several major media stories related to CharityUSA. The large majority of references to the company I read seem to be positive as well.
CharityUSA then seems to be a valid resource for busy people who would like to feel as though they are doing something positive for the world and its inhabitants but who don't have the time or resources necessary to do much by themselves. Simply by clicking on the site and maybe browsing through some of the very cool merchandise advertised there, you can donate a little of the advertisers money to worthwhile causes without any out of pocket expense to yourself.