In the past charities have been criticised for not taking full advantage of the Internet but last month saw the launch of NetAid, the high profile pop Web site aimed at eradicating world poverty. On Friday Care4free, goes live and is the amalgamation of over 20 major UK charities, including the NSPCC, RSPCA, RSPB, Save the Children and the Cancer Research Campaign .
Users will nominate a particular charity when registering, and minutes spent online will be measured with a proportional percentage of the profits passed on to the user's charity of choice. In total, 75 percent of the profits generated by telephony, advertising and trade referrals will be passed on to charity.
Users will enjoy all the benefits of any other ISP, with news, information and entertainment content provided by the BBC, Reuters, Yahoo! and the Guardian, among others. Twenty-four-hour free technical support, 15MB of Web space and five email addresses will also be on offer. A bulletin board for sharing charity ideas, event details and national and international charity campaigns is also planned.
Managing director of Care4free Bernard Kumeta described the service as "the definitive ISP for people who care". Kumeta hopes the site will be seen as more than just a charity ISP. "It is not enough to create an ISP for a dedicated charity. We also have a commercial service to rival the leading ISPs," he said.
Director of marketing for the NSPCC Tim Hunter, believes the Internet has provided a unique opportunity for charities to work together. "One charity alone would find it incredibly difficult to set up something like Care4free. Charities are often criticised for not working together and this is a good public demonstration of charities coming together. Care4free enables people to donate online, but also to generate income for the charity by using the service," he said.