Charities net cash from e-mail service
A charitable couple have pioneered an e-mail provider
that enables computer users to do their bit.
Simon Martin and Lorraine Hurst of Helmdon will donate 45
per cent of profits from their new venture, ippimail.com to
charities of users' choice. Similar to hotmail, ippimail.com
provides a website-based e-mail service.
It is free to join, with money raised through advertising
on the site.
Founded by the couple and their friend Kate Plumb from London,
the service is thought to be the first of its kind and Save
the Children, the Born Free Foundation and Breast Cancer Care
have already signed up.
"This exciting new venture allows people to make a difference
in an empowering and unique way," said Mr Martin. "It's
open to everybody all over the world, and just by using an
ippimail address users will be contributing to their chosen
good causes on a daily basis."
When users sign up they are offered a tick box list of the
charities that have agreed to associate with the site from
which to choose.
As well as established national organisations, Mr Martin is
hoping local charities will get on board too as well as those
set up for temporary causes such as natural disasters. One
of these thinking of joining the scheme is the Banbury and
District Samaritans, which welcomed the initiative. "It's
an excellent idea and I'm all for profits going to good causes
rather than some nebulous commercial organisation," said
deputy director Maurice, whose surname cannot be revealed
for confidentiality reasons.
"As a local charity you never have enough opportunities
to take in donations and something like this could really
Users are asked to fill in an anonymous questionnaire about
tastes and lifestyle. This information will be used to help
Ippi is a Japanese phrase meaning "to do one's bit".
The idea of ippimail was born from the ethos of Open Source
(OS) and a further ten per cent of the service's profits are
being donated to the OS community. OS software is left in
the public domain where it can be read, redistributed and
modified by programmers for the benefit of the computing community.
Mr Martin, who works in the photographic industry said "I
wanted to contribute more to the OS community and Lorraine
has worked for many charities over the years so the two sides
just merged into one It will provide all the usual functions
that you'd expect from an internet provider and offer some
of the latest OS software. No junk mail will be generated
from the site with every effort being made to eliminate external
He said profits not donated to charity will be ploughed back
into the company.
Becky Burrell, marketing executive for Save the Children said:
With e-mail becoming such an everyday form of communication
it makes sense for us to link up with a service which gives
something back to society."
The Banbury Guardian - 6th April 2006