Tab for a Cause is the free browser extension that raises money for nonprofits every time you open a new tab
The average person opens dozens of new tabs per day. In fact, as I'm writing this article, I have 37 tabs open in my browser. You probably have a handful open right now too.
There was a time when browsers only supported the ability to view one page at a time. And then everything changed in 2002 when Mozilla released the first mainstream browser that allowed for multiple tabs.
Since then, internet users have largely lost control of the number of tabs we have open at any given time.
While there are people working on a solution to the problem of our collective over-tabbing — some entrepreneurs have figured out how to use our out-of-control tabbing habits for good.
Tab for a Cause was founded by Alex Groth and Kevin Jennison in 2011 with the mission to make giving to charity easy.
And most notably, this page will feature 2-3 banner ads. On a traditional website, when you view (or click on) an ad, the publisher of the website gets paid by the advertiser. Tab for a Cause is flipping this classic model on its head by donating that ad revenue to charity.
Every time you open up a new tab and an ad is displayed, you're bringing in money for nonprofits.
For each new tab you open, you earn one "heart". And at any time you can designate which featured charities you want to donate to.
Tab for a Cause allows you to pick which cause your hearts go to — with several options for nonprofits fighting childhood hunger, poverty, mass incarceration, human rights violations, and more.
On November 19th, 2020, Tab for a Cause reached the milestone of raising more than $1,000,000 for nonprofits.
And on October 6th, 2022, Tab for a Cause reached the milestone of raising more than $1,500,000 for nonprofits.
How much is a heart worth in Tab for a Cause?
According to support documents, each new tab raises between 1/10th of a cent and 1 cent for nonprofits.
This number fluctuates because advertising rates vary during different times of the year and for certain locations and demographic groups.
While a penny per tab may feel like a small number, it truly adds up. It's estimated that Tab for a Cause users open 10-20 million tabs per month.
Since its founding, Tab for a Cause has raised more than $1.5 million for charity.
Which charities can you donate to with Tab for a Cause?
The parent company, Gladly, vets the nonprofits they donate to before including them in their app — and currently allows donations to roughly a dozen charities.
Currently, Tab for a Cause gives you the option to support:
- Action Against Hunger
- Save the Children
- Give Directly
- The Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck
- Room to Read
- Human Rights Watch
- Conservation International
- The Bail Project
Tab for a Cause also regularly features "Monthly Charity Spotlights", where a nonprofit is chosen by users.
These are usually topical nonprofits that are responding to topical world events such as relief for Australian wildfires, meals, medical supplies, and sanitation supplies in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and funding to support racial justice.
You can request nonprofits to be featured by emailing them here.
What other versions of Tab for a Cause are there?
They've also expanded their offerings to include Tab for Cats (which raises money to help shelter cats get adopted), Tab for Team Seas (which raises money for the #TeamSeas campaign, created by popular YouTubers), Tab for Trees (which fights climate change), and Tab for Global Health (which supports global health care).
In 2022, in honor of Black History Month, Tab for a Cause launched Tab for Black Equity — which allows you to support nonprofits working toward Black empowerment and systemic reform every time you open a new tab. This will be a permanent extension — and will continue to be accessible year-round.
Is Tab for a Cause legit?
Yes, Tab for a Cause is legit. It is verified that Tab for a Cause and its users have raised more than $1.5 million — and 30% of the app's total revenue actually makes it to nonprofits. Their parent company, Gladly, releases quarterly financial reports for transparency.
The App's Financial Breakdown:
Tab for a Cause is genuinely raising money for nonprofits — and not only that, but they're donating a lot of money to charity.
The app's parent company, Gladly, releases quarterly reports of all of their revenue and donations, in an effort to maintain user trust.
We compiled their quarterly charity donations over the course of more than a decade and plotted continual growth in total donations.
Over the last 12 months, Tab for a Cause has donated roughly 30% of its total revenue to charity. The remaining money goes to cover the cost of servers and software, salaries for their staff, taxes, and marketing expenses.
Due to instability in the advertising market (most clearly seen at the beginning of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, when advertisers stopped spending as much money), the company also maintains reserves of revenue for future months so they're always able to ensure they fully support their nonprofit partners.
One Reddit user has compiled the ultimate review of Tab for a Cause's average expenses, most notably charting out how much money is spent on salaries and employment costs each quarter.
They concluded their review with, "We can conclude that no individual seems to be profiting from TFAC's income. Additionally, a good amount is given to charity and the other spendings are either necessary or justifiable. Nice!"
When something sounds too good to be true, it often is. The thought of raising money for charity without spending any of your own money or doing any work sounds like it shouldn't be possible.
But, in this situation, Tab for a Cause is a simple way to raise money for charity.
What are some Tab for a Cause alternatives?
If you need to use your New Tab page for something else — or you're simply interested in other ways to make a difference without spending any of your own money — here are the best apps and tools to use in addition to or instead of Tab for a Cause:
Ecosia is a carbon-positive search engine that uses its ad revenue to plant trees. They have over 15 million active users and have planted 138,685,865 trees at more than 9,000 planting sites.
Just like Tab for a Cause, they make their financial reports public.
All you have to do is install their browser extension or change your default search engine.
We did a whole deep-dive on Ecosia — learn more about them, how they work, and how they're taking tree planting to the next level.
If you're going to be spending money with Amazon anyway, make sure you set up Amazon Smile.
When you shop Amazon via the URL smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a percentage of every purchase to your nonprofit of choice.
As of August 2021, Amazon Smile has raised $321,230,298.08 for charities worldwide. (You can also find thoughtful and ethical alternatives to Amazon here.)
Ultimately, if you're going to be opening new tabs anyway, you might as well be supporting nonprofits while you do. Tab for a Cause makes it easy to make a positive difference without additional effort.
We're grateful for the ways they make a difference in a unique way — and hope they inspire many more similar creative businesses that help people do good with ease.
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