It is hard to believe that a simple click of a button could be an act of charity, but now thanks to two Midland entrepreneurs, the computer mouse has become the most benevolent of beasts.
Its transformation from humble peripheral to fundraising rodent came this month, as Polly Gowers and Julia Felton launched Everyclick.com - an online search engine business that donates half of its revenues to charity.
The Morton-in-Marshbased service promises a new dimension in fundraising, offering web users the chance to raise valuable funds for their selected charity at absolutely no cost to themselves or the charity - and with no extra effort.
The business is based on the premise that when people search the web, they're often generating cash. Growing internet search revenues are due to reach £3.9 billion this year.
The duo set the business up to make sure some of this money goes to charity.
Their website - www.everyclick.com - behaves just like any other search engine, providing full search results, images, news feeds and special features such as Amazon product listings, but 50 per cent of its gross revenues are given to charity every month.
It forecasts that in this way regular users could generate around £12 per year for their favourite charity.
The pair had been working together for five years when they came up with the idea.
"We had this crazy notion, that we could set up the business to raise money for charity," says Polly.
They buy in the search content, repackage it and charge businesses for links to raise the revenue. Charitable organisations already signed up include Save the Children.
"We are very excited about this," she says.
" We went live this month supporting a handful of charities and were contacted by 50 charities in our first week."
They calculate that if just ten supporters from each of the 188,000 UK registered charities used Everyclick. com, over £ 22 million would be raised in the first year.
Advantage Business Angels helped the company raise the startup funds.
"We wrote our business plan around this time last year," says Polly.
"And with ABA's help on the fundraising, by April 4 this year we were fully subscribed."
Through the director's contributions and ABA's resources, the company was able to raise the £400,000 it needed to launch and start helping those charities.
"This is a genuinely new fundraising tool for any charity," says Polly. "It's so exciting and it's lovely to see the responses."