Today, eBay for Charity announced that the program reached a major milestone: $1 billion in total funds raised for charities around the world.
To date, eBay for Charity has more than 83,500 global charities registered on platform – up 26% year-over-year – and is enabling $211 every minute in charity funding by eBay buyers and sellers, an increase of almost 10% compared to last year (through eBay for Charity, 100% of funds raised go back to intended nonprofits).
Last year, charities collectively raised more than $83 million selling directly on eBay and a staggering $10.5 million from more than 9 million listings was raised by community sellers, the everyday heroes selling on behalf of charities, in the U.S. and U.K. Notably, Goodwill organizations raised $25 million via the platform in 2018, the British Heart Foundation raised more than £27 million since 2011 and Boston-based bookstore for rehabilitated teens, More Than Words, is having a record-breaking year and cites eBay as their biggest driver for funds raised.
I caught up with Brenda Halkias, General Manager of eBay for Charity of to find out more about this remarkable achievement.
Afdhel Aziz: Brenda, congratulations on reaching the $1 billion mark with eBay for Charity! Could you explain to everyone the various elements that come under the program, and how they work?
Brenda Halkias: Thank you! We are thrilled to have reached $1 billion in total funds raised for charities around the world. It’s a major milestone for us and especially exciting as we’ve reached it ahead of our 2020 goal.
There are many ways that people and charity organizations can get involved with the program through buying, selling, our virtual gift giving program “Gifts That Give Back,” and more. Every time someone buys or sells through eBay for Charity, it’s an opportunity to support causes that our users are passionate about and to help those causes with their fundraising goals. These include:
Buying for charity: Anyone shopping on eBay can choose to shop for items that directly benefit their favorite charities or to add donations from $1 up to $25 at checkout. The eBay for Charity ribbon next to each listing indicates that a listing benefits charity. Buyers can bid on our High Profile Charity Campaigns (HPCCs) which run throughout the year and can also purchase a digital gift donation via Gifts That Give Back.
Selling for charity: Any eBay seller can choose to donate a percentage between 10-100% of a sale to their favorite charity on the eBay platform. eBay then credits the insertion and final value fees equal to the percentage of the donation.
Charities on eBay: Charity organizations can enroll on eBay so users can choose to support them every time they buy or sell. Charities with access to inventory can also sell directly to the active buyers on eBay and have all basic selling fees (insertion and final value fees) waived. Charities can also set up digital gift donations via Gifts That Give Back.
Aziz: That’s very helpful, thank you. What are some of your favorite stories from this program?
Halkias: We have many stories to tell of the people, brands and charities doing great things on our platform. In celebration of our $1 billion milestone, we created video portraits of three charity sellers Goodwill San Francisco, More Than Words and Africa Direct to show the impact our program can have on people’s lives and communities. You can watch the series at YouTube.com/ebay channel.
Aziz: Thank you, we’re going to include the videos in this article so people can view them here too. And please tell me, how did the program start?
Halkias: Following the September 11th attacks, New York Governor George Pataki and NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani made a personal appeal to eBay to create an auction that would benefit organizations supporting the victims and the families of this monumental tragedy. The result was “Auction for America” which raised $10 million. With such a huge outpouring of support from the eBay community, the company made the decision to create a fundraising platform which officially launched in 2003.
Aziz: Very inspiring. And what have been some of the experiences, from Warren Buffet to Ai Weiwei that you’ve featured?
Halkias: Over the years, we have been able to tap into cultural moments happening in the world and create charity auctions around these moments including the launch of TIME’S UP, International Women’s Day, the GRAMMY’s, Earth Month, Veteran’s Day and more. Additionally we have worked with fabulous partners to raise funds for various charities including Ai Weiwei, Jake Tapper, Yara Shahidi, Miranda Lambert, to name a few.
This year, our annual “Power Lunch” with Warren Buffet raised a record-breaking $4.5 million for the GLIDE Foundation, which in total, has raised over $33.8 million via eBay for Charity over 17 years. We’ve featured amazing experiences on the platform including a Date with Betty White (to benefit the Morris Animal Foundation), Gwen Stefani Sweet Escape Tour VIP Packages (benefitted the Children’s Hospital of Orange County & Orangewood Children’s Foundation), a 1966 Land Rover once used to transport the Dalai Lama (benefited the The Dalai Lama Foundation), and literally hundreds more.
Aziz: I’m curious….do you think this target has been reached because more people are “Shopping with Purpose?”
Halkias: Definitely! The eBay community is passionate about shopping with purpose which has enabled us to reach an incredible milestone ahead of schedule. We are seeing increases across the board and for 2019, we look to be on target for another record-breaking year for funds raised. The numbers of charities registered on our platform is up 26% compared to last year.
A staggering 83,500 charities globally can now connect with consumers that want to shop with purpose. Both direct selling (charities selling inventory) and community selling (consumers selling for or donating a portion of their sales to charities), have seen notable increases in the last few years. It is also encouraging to see that the dollar amount of funds raised per minute continues to increase year over year – showing that our shoppers have no intentions of slowing down when it comes to giving back!
Aziz: Amazing! And moving forward, what would you like to invite the community to do to support your work?
Halkias: We invite everyone to continue to shop with purpose and shop eBay for Charity. The incredible thing about our platform is that there is no one way to get involved. You can buy items directly from charities, choose to give a donation at checkout or a portion of your sale to a charity or bid on any number of the unique items or experiences we have on the platform.
Right now, shoppers can bid on one-of -a kind sneakers as part of our Vans Checkerboard Day auction, an exclusive box set of Bon Appetit’s Thanksgiving issue signed by the Test Kitchen chefs Bon Appétit’s Test Kitchen auction or buy from one of the millions of charity listings on ebay.com/charityshop that are live every day – just look for the gold and blue charity ribbon for items that benefit charity! And of course with the holidays and Giving Tuesday right around the corner, we will have a lot more exciting inventory that we’ll be featuring.
Aziz: Thanks very much Brenda. Here’s to the next billion!