Affiliate commissions are a big (and frequently misunderstood) business on the Web. GlobalMojo, which has scored $550,000 from Founder’s Co-op and others, wants to insert itself in those transactions, allowing consumers to choose non-profits where they’d like to direct a portion of the commissions.
“GlobalMojo is a free browser app that automatically and effortlessly generates money for deserving nonprofits, charities, and schools, by leveraging the things our users do every day on the web — search, shop, book travel, etc.,” said Daniel Todd, the former Zango president who joined GlobalMojo as CEO earlier this year.
The number of non-profits in the U.S. has more than doubled in the last five years, and yet funding has not kept up. “There’s this massive need for nonprofits to find new ways to bring funds into the system,” Todd tells GeekWire.
With $1 billion spent online every day in the U.S., Todd said he wants to funnel some of the affiliate commissions back to the organizations that need it.
Founded by Brad Crisp, GlobalMojo is relatively small, with just over 6,000 active users and 900 participating merchants. It employs seven people, with the bulk of the engineering team in San Francisco.
But Todd is hoping to turn up the volume this summer as the company begins to roll out new partnerships with non-profits. At this point, the add-on works with Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, with a new Safari version set to debut in the next 30 to 45 days.
Users of the service can pick from among two million non-profits or schools in North America, directing a portion of the affiliate commission on Web purchases to the organization of their choice. After installing the software, an icon of the charity gets integrated into search and shopping results.
For example, if a shopper purchases a hotel room through Hotels.com — one of GlobalMojo’s merchant partners — a portion of that commission gets directed to the nonprofit of their choice.
“We get a five percent commission from Hotels.com, just like a traditional affiliate. So, when I the consumer go and purchase from Hotels.com for two nights at $600, they are going to pay GlobalMojo $30 of that, and then we are going to donate $15 of that to the user’s chosen non-profit,” explained Todd, adding that customers “don’t pay any more money” as part of the deal.
Affiliate transactions are happening every day, and Todd said that most people just aren’t aware of them. “We just give (consumers) a way to direct (the commission) to something that they care about,” he said. The company is also working on social media efforts whereby users of the app can invite friends to help raise money toward a larger mission, say purchasing clean water for a family that lives in Ghana.
In total, GlobalMojo has received commitments for about $1.1 million so far this year. Prior to 2011, it had raised more than $1 million.
The GlobalMojo concept is similar to GreaterGood.com, a Web site that Madrona Venture Group backed during the dot-com boom and went out of business in 2001. (Editor’s note: GreaterGood was sold in 2001 to Tim Kunin and Greg Hesterberg, and it continues to operate as a nonprofit from its headquarters in Seattle. It gave gave more than $3.4 million to charities worldwide last year).
Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, shut down its Cashback program last year after lack of use.