Blogging gets children in poverty sponsored.

Here’s da proof that blogging works.

And here’s da rebuttal.

The Search Kindly “Money Thermometer” shows that only $203 has been raised for Compassion this month.

Using highly complex advanced math skills that bend the imagination as well as extraordinarily precise scientific pattern analysis that can’t help but impress, and with one-third of precincts reporting, CNN (Compassion Network News) predicts that Search Kindly will donate slightly more than $600 to Compassion at the end of the month.

No goals will be met, and no observable impact for your efforts, particularly the friends below, will be seen.

It seems our call to action was too weak. Any ideas for a compelling way to influence da thermometer?

  • Print This Post Print This Post
  • Add a Comment

39 Comments Add a Comment
  1. May 10, 2008
    at 8:06 pm

    i think it’s about permission and relationships.


    random search page most have never heard of (even though they use google)=doesn’t.

    blogging=story, faces, names, life.

    random search page=doesn’t.

    they are both easy, effortless (heck i’d even say a blog with relationships takes *more* efforts…commenting, reading, etc.)…but that just goes to show…

    relationships. permission.

  2. Bob
    May 10, 2008
    at 8:22 pm

    Isn’t Search Kindly comparable to GoodSearch/Goodshop?

    $638 has been raised for CI this year through GoodSearch/Goodshop (mostly through searches)

  3. May 10, 2008
    at 11:30 pm

    Ok, ok, so when I saw SearchKindly the first time, I barely batted an eye. “Yeah, yeah, one of those time-wasting Internet donation things that probably doesn’t even do anything…” I’ve had final exams and honestly been kind of lazy. But your calling us out convinced me I should at least give it a try, and since it’s possible to put it in your FireFox bar, it’s now my primary search engine.

    So how to get people do make a move? Exactly what you did, I think: don’t be afraid to be honest, even when it’s something we might not all want to hear.

  4. May 10, 2008
    at 11:55 pm

    If it were possible to have a GoodSearch or SearchKindly window in the top corner of my Firefox browser like my Google window up there, I’d use it all the time. I have Goodsearch in my bookmark bar but never think to go to it — it requires an extra step. I know that sounds terrible, since it would only take me a split second longer to get my search done. I need to be more intentional in my internet searches, I guess!

  5. Lisa Miles
    May 11, 2008
    at 1:00 am

    I have to second what Bob said — I use Goodsearch to benefit Compassion, so didn’t switch my search engine over to Search Kindly when I read the blog.

  6. May 11, 2008
    at 10:39 am

    When used properly I believe blogging is the most powerful tool on the internet.

  7. May 11, 2008
    at 2:15 pm

    Search Kindly and Good Search are similar in that they are both search engines, but that’s it. They generate their donations differently.

    Good Search generates revenue for Compassion year round. Every time you do a search money accumulates for a donation to Compassion – assuming we’re your charity of choice. :-)

    Search Kindly doesn’t work that way. It’s eyeballs. Ad revenue, not your searches, generates the donation. And Search Kindly is only donating money to Compassion based on what occurs in May.

    Good Search has raised over $600 for Compassion this year.

    Search Kindly should make that donation, and hopefully more, just in one month.

    As Ashleigh said, you can add Search Kindly to your browser toolbar. But since the money is eyeball driven making Search Kindly your browser homepage helps too. Every time you load your page, that’s an ad impression.

    But even more, if you purchase music from iTunes, or books from Amazon, or even shop from other online retailers, if you access those sites from the Buy Kindly page, you’d make a sizeable impact on the amount of the donation.

  8. Bob
    May 11, 2008
    at 6:47 pm

    Chris… you can shop iTunes and Amazon through GoodSearch/Goodshop as well… along with MANY other popular online sites… This could be a major plus as some sites (ex. Amazon) contribute 5% of your purchase price.

    Hillary… You can download a GoodSearch toolbar (Firefox, IE or Mac) for easy search access… FWIW, I added GoodSearch, linked to CI, to my Firefox search box.

    Seems like the best plan is to set Search Kindly as you homepage for the next few weeks… I didn’t realize a simply loading that would count as use.

  9. Bob
    May 11, 2008
    at 6:59 pm

    oops… I meant 1.5% (not 5%) for Amazon’s GoodShop… many others are in the 2-3% range…

  10. May 11, 2008
    at 8:14 pm

    I was all ready to switch to Search Kindly – and even promote it at my own blog – when I visited it tonight and noticed that the ads along the left were for an ultra-liberal charity that was mocking conservatives by quoting them in a poor light. When I went back again the ads had changed, so I can’t tell you the name of the sponsor.

    Anyway, that immediately makes it much less palatable for me to use as my search engine on a regular basis. Perhaps the match-up between Search Kindly and Compassion isn’t meant to be.

  11. May 11, 2008
    at 9:23 pm

    I don’t understand why an ad would prevent you from using Search Kindly. Ads are purchased by all kinds of business and organizations, and Search Kindly isn’t endorsing them. They simply must make money by selling advertisements! Any search engine does the same, and in doing so is not necessarily saying they like anyone of these clients.

    When you use the search engine, your money goes to the org of the month, not anyone buying the ads– they’re losing money when you go to the site, in fact, because they’re apparently paying for an ad that some SearchKindly users aren’t going to respond to!

    If you feel very uncomfortable using Search Kindly, GoodSearch is even more charity-specific because it allows you to choose one to donate to throughout the year– not just for a month if it’s voted in. On the other hand, Search Kindly donates all their profits, while GoodSearch only gives 50%, I believe.

  12. Amy
    May 12, 2008
    at 7:55 am

    I wonder if maybe people don’t understand that Compassion gets the money donated from May from Search Kindly. I heard about Search Kindly from your MySpace bulletin in April, and I (mistakenly) thought that the more people that voted for Compassion that month, the more money would be donated. It wasn’t until I read your blog here that I realized that Compassion would get the money raised from May and not April.

    Maybe another MySpace bulletin explaining how it works would help (or even just linking to this post). It may not make a huge difference, but then again, it worked for the Impact Awards. :)

  13. May 12, 2008
    at 9:09 am

    OK, I think it get it now.

    Compassion gets money if you do searches with Search Kindly.

    AND you can make Search Kindly your home page, which will give Compassion $3.

    AND you can click on the blue link on the right hand side of the page which takes you to a list of retailers. If you click on the retailer and purchase something, Compassion gets a percentage of the purchase — roughly 3%.

    (There are some big-name retailers — Amazon, Target, Walmart, Priceline, Lane Bryant, etc.!)

    And this is just for May. Okay, I get it.

  14. Andrew Z.
    May 12, 2008
    at 10:36 am

    I tried both GoodSearch and Search Kindly. While the ideas are great, the implementations are hard to use. GoodSearch is based on Yahoo search results, which are nowhere near as helpful as Google (at least, for me). Search Kindly’s results are provided by Google, but their design requires going through their home page (even after adding Search Kindly to the Firefox search box)). That wastes me a lot of time compared to using Firefox’s built-in search box to get directly to search results in Google: I just type CTRL+K, type a word, hit ENTER, and the results are there.

    I search Google ~50 times a day, and I need good results fast.

    Also, I assume Good Search only makes makes money when I click on ads (so their reported giving is based on average visits), but I hardly ever click on ads. So, my visits would actually generate no money at all. (Search Kindly uses banner ads, so they may have deals with advertisers on a pay-per-impression basis or a pay-per-click basis).

    Each individual search generates so little potential income compared to the lost productivity, I can’t justify using anything but Google.

  15. May 12, 2008
    at 12:14 pm

    Jesus works (and He sometimes uses the ‘blog’).

  16. May 12, 2008
    at 12:15 pm

    For only the rest of May, switching to Search Kindly & even the extra time between searching from the Firefox search bar or setting them as your home page (I don’t usually have any show up) is worth providing Compassion with extra donations!

    For all that the children in poverty & their families face, this is a minuscule sacrifice for us to make in using the internet, in fact, I wouldn’t call it a “sacrifice” at all!

    Just do it & help Compassion help more children in need!

  17. May 12, 2008
    at 5:14 pm

    I believe God is inefficient (and love that idea!), so I am not too keen on always finding the quickest and easiest root to a goal.

    With that said, for people concerned about lost productivity, maybe the answer is to keep searching with Google and merely donate more money to Compassion instead. After all, both are a sacrifice in some way (quick searches vs. cash). Perhaps the sacrifice that would be more convenient (weird word to have next to sacrifice, I know) and even better for compassion would be to intentionally increase your monthly giving?

  18. May 12, 2008
    at 5:15 pm

    Er, route, not root.

  19. Andrew Z.
    May 12, 2008
    at 6:43 pm

    Ashleigh: I agree, and when searching on company time, I think the employer would agree too.

    Compassion has many great giving and partnership opportunities.

  20. May 13, 2008
    at 10:31 pm

    I had the same experience. I went to Search Kindly excited about making money for Compassion by doing what I normally do (search Google, shop Amazon, etc). And yes, like you I was treated to ads for liberal organizations seemingly ALL OVER the website. Needless to say, I won’t be using it or recommending it.

    An ad, if it was porn or ultra-liberal or otherwise offensive, would prevent me from using and/or recommending that website. I haven’t tried GoodSearch yet, so I’ll have to check it out.

  21. May 14, 2008
    at 5:36 am

    Regarding the liberal ads that Search Kindly displays, I had a thought – it is my own and no one else’s, specifically it is not a recommendation, suggestion or encouragement from Compassion.

    Since the donation that Search Kindly will make to Compassion at the end of May is determined by the number of eyeballs that see Search Kinldy’s ads, isn’t there some sense of justice in knowing that it is conservative eyeballs, immune to the ad messages, that are pushing up the donation? The liberal advertisers will essentially be paying a conservative Christian organization for those ad impressions.

    I’m not saying that “sticking it to the liberal advertisers” is what I want anyone to do. I know some people will be okay with ideas and others will not be. I’m just asking the question because I’m curious to hear what the people who are offended by the ads think of the notion.

    Myself, I never see the ads on the site, regardless of what they’re pushing. I’ve trained myself to block out all that visual noise.

  22. May 14, 2008
    at 10:06 am

    I understand what you’re saying…. and really, in essence you’re correct. Besides people like you and I, though, there are those who cannot so easily tune out the ads. Indeed, web marketing is a science, and ads are created to atrract attention – and their click-thru rates are tightly monitored to ensure that if an ad is NOT getting enough attention it is switched out with one that is.

    Also, it may not be true that only immune Conservatives see those ads… it could be that a “weaker brother” ends up seeing them – someone who could be swayed. Ok, now I know that sounds melodramatic – and it probably is.

    Using similar logic I could probably make a case that websites advertising porn could be set up and garner mega-ad dollars for Compassion. Now, everyone here would agree that’s a wrong approach (to put it mildly)… but perhaps sending potentially impressionable folks to a site with large ads mocking the Vice President of the United States is not so great, either.

    I dunno… Paul said that as long as Christ was being served he didn’t mind being smeared. I can see both sides.

    Hey – on a technical note – have you thought of adding Gravatars to the blog?

  23. May 14, 2008
    at 11:53 am

    The ads don’t bother me so much…I don’t really see them either.

  24. May 14, 2008
    at 12:15 pm

    Chris, etc.:

    “isn’t there some sense of justice in knowing that it is conservative eyeballs, immune to the ad messages, that are pushing up the donation?”

    Or could it be that while many Compassion supporters may be “conservative eyeballs,” others that support Compassion politically liberal? ;o)

    I know you said that comment was your thoughts and not Compassion’s, but I find it interesting that you’d identify Compassion as a conservative organization. What makes you label it as such?

  25. May 14, 2008
    at 12:16 pm

    are politically liberal… Gosh, I’m always leaving words out of sentences as I edit them… Sorry!

  26. May 14, 2008
    at 12:57 pm

    The labels I apply to anything are based on their relationship to me. They are relative.

  27. May 14, 2008
    at 5:49 pm

    We have a plug-in that displays the author’s gravatar in the post, and it also displays visitor gravatars in the comments section, on the back end … which you can’t see. :-)

    Which plug-in are using on your blog to have gravatars display in the comments section of a post?

    I’ve wanted to add that feature but never ranked it high on the list of competing priorities. But if you want to do my leg work, I should be able to bump it up. :-)

  28. May 14, 2008
    at 8:37 pm

    It looks like you’re using WP 2.5.1 (the latest… congrats) which has Gravatars now “built-in”. No plugin required… just two lines of code in comments.php, and two lines of style in style.css.

    I’d be tickled to do the leg work for you. Please email me and I’ll send you short, straightforward instructions.

  29. May 15, 2008
    at 5:38 am

    I knew about the built-in gravatar functionality, but I hadn’t turned it on. When we upgraded to 2.5, I tried it and no one had gravatars. I just turned it on again, as you can see, and the only people that have gravatars are you and me :-). So I’ve also enabled the functionality to display a site’s favicon when there a person doesn’t have a gravatar so that we have more pretty pictures to look at. However, that functionality does slow down page load times. I’ll have to see if that becomes a problem.

    Thanks for the prodding.

    If anyone wants to create a gravatar, it takes a few seconds and can be done at

  30. May 15, 2008
    at 7:51 pm


    Ok, by the context of your remarks it sounds like you have the WP-Gravatar plugin in use. If you go into the settings for it you should be able to change the styling (it’s the field that has a float:left). I would recommend changing the float left to float right and margin-right to margin-left. That would appear much less intrusive in the comments. Ooohh… but would that affect posts, too?

    We wouldn’t have to be having this conversation if the identicons, monstercons, etc were built directly into WordPress like they are in the hosted blogs at :-)

    I’ll look into this further.

  31. May 15, 2008
    at 11:18 pm


    Wow… you work fast. I think the Gravatars look great floated right… so that if someone doesn’t have one there’s no harm done.

    Great work! :-)

  32. May 16, 2008
    at 7:46 am

    In reply to Chris:
    “The [liberal/conservative] labels I apply to anything are based on their relationship to me. They are relative.”

    I don’t know that this really answered my question. I guess what I’m really asking is, do you think almost all Compassion supporters identify as conservative? Or do you mean to say there is an unspoken conservative bent to Compassion as an organization?

    There are other non-profits that I would say clearly have a politically conservative bent (e.g. Focus on the Family) and others that are “non-partisan” but still are essentially liberal organizations (e.g. NOW). Others seem less politically defined but from their approach to solving problems in society, you can guess those in charge tend to lean in a certain direction– and even if they don’t say it, they’re self-aware about their conservative/liberal leanings.

    As a political science major in college, I’m really curious to know how you would identify Compassion– when you speak of it as conservative, is that the supporters? Or the ideology that roots the org?

  33. May 16, 2008
    at 7:59 am

    Aaah! Now I see the perspective you’re asking from.

    When I called Compassion a conservative Christian organization I applied that label based on the fact that many of my co-workers identify themselves as conservatives; thus, I extended that association to Compassion. That’s the relative part. It’s based on my perspective and experience.

    I do not think that all Compassion supporters identify as conservative. I know all Compassion employees don’t identify as conservative.

    Compassion does not have a political agenda. It’s mission is 100 percent children – releasing children from poverty … and doing it in Jesus’ name. The two parts are inseparable.

    The ideology that roots the organization is love. Love for Jesus. Love for children. Love for the Body of Christ. Love for each other.

  34. May 16, 2008
    at 8:05 am


    Ok, awesome, I completely understand what you’re trying to say now! I appreciate the clarification.

    While I do think employees’ political ideologies contribute to the organizational culture of Compassion and therefore affects its work, I think that’s inevitable and not necessarily a bad thing. And while for me, issues of poverty liberalized me a few years ago, I have several friends that care for the same issues that identify as conservative.

    I don’t know if you know the political make-up of Compassion or how you would find out, but I think it could actually be useful in terms of understanding what kind of evangelicals you are effectively reaching. I hope Compassion does know/remember that evangelical politics are much broader than the media stereotype and is able to get people of all stripes involved in its mission.

  35. May 16, 2008
    at 9:00 pm

    I would venture a guess that if Compassion’s employees are Christ-followers… and that what they do they do in Jesus’ name – out of love for Jesus and love for children… then the political component of their worldview wouldn’t (shouldn’t?) affect their evangelical “reach”.

    I think that basically if you reach out to people who care about poor children, then you’re getting the right people involved regardless of their politics.

    Do you believe that there may be an “unreached sponsor-group” that could be more involved in Compassion’s mission?

  36. May 17, 2008
    at 6:19 am

    Yes. I believe that many of our existing sponsors could be more involved in Compassion’s mission. Our blog and presence in other social media/networking spaces is to help show sponsors at all levels of involvement the many ways, both large and small, how they can be more engaged with their children and Compassion.

    And I also believe there are potential sponsors, people that aren’t yet aware or involved with Compassion, that have deeply empathetic hearts for children in poverty who would love to get involved if someone just told or showed them how easy it can be, even if they don’t have $32 a month to sponsor a child.

  37. Jun 23, 2008
    at 10:16 pm

    @Ashleigh – I apologize for not coming back here sooner :)

    Yes, I know how ad revenue works on the internet – I’m an expert at SEO (search engine optimiztion). That’s exactly why I was excited about Search Kindly.

    I am “known” to a lot of people online, and if I promoted Search Kindly and then people went there to make it their default search engine, and the ads were questionable, it would reflect on me. So, I do have to be careful about what I endorse.

    That’s just me :)

  38. Mike Stephens
    Mar 30, 2009
    at 6:05 pm


    I like how we can take money from the liberal advertisers!!! I greatly appreciate how Compassion does have many ways to engage from this blog to Sponsor Tours and Compassion Sundays!!! For me though I had enough of hearing other people talk about Compassion so I wanted to see it for myself. So I went to Nicaragua and in June I am going to the Philippines!!! Hearing someone talk about Compassion is very helpful and I usually 10/10 times love learning and listening but I cannot in good conscience listen to people talk about riding an amazing roller coaster and not experience the roller coaster myself!!! I am too jealous, too envious, and too able to visit the kids I sponsor, so I GO!!! I learn so much from the blog it is amazing!!!

  39. Michelle
    Nov 18, 2009
    at 6:07 pm

    I forgot all about GoodSearch. I used to be signed up for another organization long ago… I think I’ll go sign up for Compassion now! :o)

© 2008-2015 Compassion International. All Rights Reserved.
ECFA Charity Navigator BBB