RealTime IT News

Long Distance With a Charitable Twist

A new Internet marketing company named CommunityReach will offer long distance phone service at 10 cents per minute 24 hours a day, with a commitment to donate at least 5% of its revenues to nonprofit organizations that its customers choose.

CommunityReach in Bethesda, MD will be led by Mark Shriver, a former executive with Qwest Communications. To join CommunityReach's program, customers fill out secure subscription forms online at communityreach.com.

By donating at least 5% of monthly long distance charges, CommunityReach provides a simple way for its customers to contribute to their favorite nonprofit organization. For example, customers spending $35 per month in long distance calling will contribute over $20 to the charity of their choice over the course of a year--automatically, without having to make a separate donation, the company said.

"Unlike the major long distance companies that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising, CommunityReach uses the power of the Web to keep operating and marketing costs down," said Shriver. "This approach enables us to share a percentage of revenues with the nonprofits. . . "

"CommunityReach is a for-profit business with a nonprofit focus," said Shriver. "The concept driving our business plan is that businesses can do well by doing good."

CommunityReach has negotiated an arrangement with UniDial Communications to provide long distance service at a rate of 10 cents per minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a monthly fee of $1.50. All nonprofit organizations that are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as nonprofits are eligible to receive donations from the CommunityReach program.