Melbourne based startup ripple launched recently and seem to be making quite a splash in the philanthropic pond. The site offers two separate services the first being really quite simple, companies partner with ripple to provide advertising (usually in the form of flash based ads). Every time the advertisement is viewed the revenue is donated to one of 4 different charities working to fight poverty. This is kinda cool, especially when you realise that 1 click can provide 1 person in the developing world clean drinking water for 6 days and with this in mind watching the ad that subsequently showed on my screen really wasn't that bad (I would much rather be watching the ad than being thirsty in the 3rd world). The second part of the site is, for me, the real reason why this site can be successful..
Rather than using Google for your search results, you can set the ripple sponsored search site as your home page. The page returns the exact same results as your ordinary Google search but the revenue earned from the searching goes to ripple who pass on 100% of the money to the charities.
The thing I really love about this site is that the creators (Matt Tilleard, Simon Griffiths and Jehan Ratnatunga) have come up with a way for the general public to continue using one of the worlds most popular services (Google search) and do their bit for the global community without any inconvenience to the user whatsoever.
At last count they had 1,364 members in their Facebook group, but I have no doubt this will continue to grow rapidly and hopefully result in some decent revenue for their charity.