Goodr: donating through ads

Helping a charity of your choice, simply by being online. Goodr developed a free plugin that allows users to automatically help plant trees, donate food or help tackle plastic soup in the ocean. All they have to do is surf the web like they normally would. The startup is looking to get 20,000 users in 2021.

How it works? You install the tool, choose a charity and give your preference for the type of ads you’d like to see. Goodr makes sure the ads you would normally see on web pages come from sustainable brands and that 75% of the ad revenue goes to the charity of your choice. The tool also lets you see the total contribution to your charity, which will automatically grow over time, with no effort required from you.

Inequality and Facebook

Part of what sparked the idea behind Goodr came from Facebook going public back in 2012, one of the largest and most anticipated IPOs in history. “That was bizarre”, says co-founder Ewan Scholte. “It’s just an insane amount of money and it basically only revolved around selling ads, because that’s how Facebook makes its money. And that realization got me really interested in how online marketing works.”

About two years later, Ewan and his girlfriend went on a trip to Indonesia. “That’s where I experienced first hand the enormous contrast between rich and poor, seeing the slums just outside Jakarta. Realizing that just a tiny fraction of the money made in online marketing could make so much of a difference there, is what sparked the idea behind Goodr.”

Consumers in control

As the saying goes, if something is free, you are the product. “That’s definitely part of the problem”, says Ewan. “Your data is sold to advertisers, but as a consumer, you’re totally left out of the equation. You have no say in it and very little control over it. I think that’s part of the reason why so many of us use an adblocker, even though we also know many of our favorite websites rely on advertising to make money and continue to exist.”

“So with Goodr, we want to give you that measure of control”, Ewan continues. “If you choose to allow ads, you get a say in what happens with the money being made. You’re part of that equation. We also believe that, in terms of privacy and your data, it’s important to be upfront and transparent. So we’ve summed it all up on our website in understandable terms and you can also revoke any permissions you’ve given us at any time. And you can also check how much of the advertising money made from your data has gone to your charity at any time.”

Trees, food & plastic soup

Goodr currently has three charities to choose from. “We’re working with the Trees for All foundation to help plant trees around the world”, Ewan says. “And we work with Plumpy’Nuts, which is a sort of peanut butter paste with added minerals and vitamins, used to feed severely malnourished children around the world. And our third option is to help do something about the plastic soup polluting our rivers and oceans.”

G-Force investment

Goodr won the ABN AMRO Startup Award a few years back and also received an investment from G-Force Capital. The startup also works together with theFactor.e for the development of the tool. “Goodr is really a perfect addition to our portfolio”, says G-Force fund manager Marco de Jong. “It’s digital, scalable and has the potential to make a huge impact. And for us it’s also about the entrepreneur behind the idea of course and Ewan is a very passionate and intrinsically motivated entrepreneur. I think Goodr now has three powerful goals with the charities and we’re hoping to get as many users on board as we can.”

Interested in trying out the tool? Check out (currently in Dutch only).