If you love reading stuff on the Internet, you know that most independent publishers earn their living by selling advertising space on their websites. While this is definitely an important part of keeping small online businesses up and running, publishers and content creators are always looking for new ways keep the lights on and cover their operating costs.
Now, there’s a new startup called CentUp which aims to put a little spare change in the pockets of publishers, while giving readers the satisfaction that roughly half of their money is going to a charity of their choice.
CentUp works similarly to the Facebook “Like” button, but when you click it, you can show your support for your favorite websites and blogs by paying them a small amount of money. Keep in mind that CentUp doesn’t block content in any way. You only contribute if you like the site and got value out of the content. In fact, it’s recommend that publishers place the CentUp button at the bottom of their content.
In addition to your pennies going to your favorite sites, your money will be split with one of several diverse small charities. When you first sign up for the service you select a charity of choice, and charge a preloaded donation amount on your credit card. This amount can be set to automatically reload if and when you use it up.
Donation amounts are paid in “CentUp credits” – which each represent one cent of your cash balance, and can be increased beyond your default amount at the time you decide to contribute to a specific piece of content. CentUp automatically splits each credit into three pieces and distributes them – 45% to the publisher, 45% to the charity, and a 10% fee for operating the platform and covering credit card fees.
At any time you can log into your CentUp profile to see who you have contributed to, view a list of publishers, and edit your preferences.
To date, there are just a handful of publishers and six charities participating in CentUp, but its founders expect that to grow substantially in time.
If you like what CentUp stands for, you can sign up for the service by simply clicking the CentUp button at the bottom of this post, or by visiting their website.