Monday, September 08, 2008

To bid or not to bid?

Just as eBay's WorldofGood site launches, allowing you to buy and sell "socially responsible" products along comes CharityBuzz, which is an auction site for charity. At WorldofGood you can buy handmade, environmentally sound crafts and other pro-social products. At CharityBuzz you can bid on celebrity events, television show walk-ons, and tickets to the Presidential inauguration - all in the name of charity.

WorldofGood launches with several buzzwords - trustology (the certifiers of product goodness) and goodprint (Markers of goodness type - environmental, animal friendly, pro-people or supports a cause).

CharityBuzz will help your nonprofit organize and get fabulous items for its auction, and publicize and manage the process, all for "No up front fees: we charge a percentage of revenue raised deducted from the amount we remit to the charity after the auction is closed." It may help if your charity or nonprofit was "...founded by the most famous names on the planet, including Bette Midler, Andre Agassi, Rosie O'Donnell, Eddie Vedder, Petra Nemcova, Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy and Denis Leary..." If not, don't worry: "While publicity efforts may logically focus on the big names, all charities — large and small — benefit from the increased traffic at our website generated by star power. Simply stated, great products partnered with celebrity causes creates "buzz" and generates sales and raises awareness for all our charity partners."

The scale, reach and branding power of these two sites might mean some tough competition in the "online shopping for good" niche of the philanthropy business - we'll have to wait and see how sites like shopthecause, maasaieducation, greatgreengoods, or maasaimarket.


JC said...

Another site that is a bit less focused on the celebrity aspect (and quite a bit larger) is they have run over 4,000 auctions raising almost $50million for a variety of causes.

Our school ran with their parent company, cMarket Network, and raised over $20k with bunch of items getting 30-50% more than last year in the room.

Lucy Bernholz said...

Thanks for this. It reminded me that there are several other sites that sell "fair trade" or eco/social/people friendly goods - but the quick Google search I did didn't even pull up all the ones I had ever heard of. I think the entrance of these two "rather big" players into these spaces is significant.