Why eBay Brings Awareness to Causes Via Charity Auctions

November 28, 2017

After a record-breaking weekend for retail, it’s now Giving Tuesday, the holiday marketing tradition inspired by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but with a philanthropic twist. The holiday was first launched in 2012 by the 92st Y and the United Nations to kickstart charitable season.

eBay is doing its part this year, the retailer’s fourth annual celebration of #givingtuesday. The company is leveraging its network of buyers and sellers in a partnership with Feeding America to end world hunger. eBay users can buy items and celebrity experiences with all of the proceeds going to charity.

Chris Librie, eBay's senior director for Global Impact and Giving, says that the company considers auctioning for a cause the perfect strategy to bring about awareness. eBay has a flair for enticing altruistic donors this way, and once auctioned an opportunity to have lunch with Warren Buffett for charity.

“We raise money through charity auctions because they generate a ton of publicity for the cause,” he said. “With Warren Buffett we raised millions of dollars … 100 percent of that goes to the Glide Church in San Francisco,” he said.

“Helping people do good things when they shop is part of our ethos, as well as the economic opportunity we create for our sellers,” he said. “Those things really go hand in glove.” The Giving Tuesday organization has been able to garner a lot of attention. In 2015, the initiative engaged 2.4 million social media posts and raised $177 million online.

Librie also told us about the expansion of eBay’s Gifts That Give Back program. After debuting last year, the program is now introducing two new charitable partnerships, and more symbolic gifts, whose proceeds go to the charity of the buyer's choice.

Librie also discussed some of the impressive figures that eBay for Charity has tallied over the years. The organization is responsible for raising over $725 million as of 2016. The network’s sellers have managed to create almost 1.5 million charitable listings available to the public on any given day.

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