A Parnell start-up has turned the unused space on computers into an advertising environment.

The Donate Your Desktop application places a new wallpaper, sponsored by an advertiser, on a user's computer desktop every day.

Seventy-five per cent of the advertising revenue goes to charity.

Those who participate can contribute to one of four partner charities.


The Donate Your Desktop team, brothers David and Stephen Hillier, Nelson Raynor and Bennor McCarthy, have been working on the product for more than a year.

Kelly Coburn, a senior account manager at advertising agency Ogilvy, says it is something she would consider for her clients.

"Aside from print ads in newspapers and magazines and on television there's no other way of getting into people's homes directly."

Coburn says the advertising creates a feelgood factor for companies.

David Hillier, a co-director at the company, says it wants to expand overseas as business picks up - first to Australia and then Europe and the United States - but not within the next six months. "We want to give the charities that gave us a chance the opportunity to do well first."

Although the week following the launch ended with fewer registrations than planned, Hillier says the team is confident numbers will reach 100,000 by the end of the year.

The company says the application is "the perfect way to redirect money spent on advertising towards a charitable cause".

"It allows people who might not usually be able to donate to make a difference."

Advertisers will pay 5c per active desktop. Almost 800 users have already signed up to Donate Your Desktop, making the cost about $46 to advertise for a day.

As more users sign up daily, Donate Your Desktop will place a cap on the cost based on projected growth, which will be established a week before the ad runs.

Oxfam New Zealand is one of the four charities that has joined Donate Your Desktop.

Spokeswoman Chelsea Willis says Oxfam is excited about the partnership.

"The application gives our supporters and their friends and family the opportunity to donate to Oxfam without it costing them anything."