eBay Community Gives Record $50 Million to non-profits in 2009

Richard Brewer-Hay

People never cease to amaze me. At a time that sees everyone tightening their budgets and thinner in the wallet, eBay buyers and sellers raised a record $50 million for U.S. and U.K. non-profit organizations in 2009 – a 17% jump since last year. Users have contributed an amazing $162 million to their favorite causes through eBay Giving Works since 2003.

eBay Giving Works Logo

Every little bit helps
While funds raised by nonprofits are at an all-time low, this year’s eBay Giving Works figures were released during a year of significant growth for online fundraising. Online giving is growing at 44% per year, seven times faster than offline giving growth. Online giving has enabled charities to leverage the power of the individual through smaller, more modest donations. The eBay charity program was built expressly to support this kind of fundraising, capitalizing on the philanthropic instincts of eBay’s 89 million member community and pioneering a new model for giving back.

How it works:
eBay Giving Works enables eBay users to support their favorite causes whenever they buy and sell. Today the program offers five easy ways to make a difference:
Community Selling: Any seller can donate part of their sale price to a nonprofit. The seller decides which organization to support and how much to give (10-100 percent), and gets a tax deduction for their gift.
Direct Selling: Nonprofits can sell their own items on eBay to raise funds. eBay waives most basic selling fees for nonprofits, making Direct Selling practically free.
Shop eBay Giving Works: Every item posted by a Community or Direct Seller bears the eBay Giving Works blue and yellow charity ribbon, so it’s easy for buyers to shop for items to support causes that matter to them.
Give at Checkout: 1.5 million shoppers every day are invited to add a donation on top of their eBay purchase, when they pay by PayPal. Give at Checkout has raised nearly $5 million in its first 12 months.
Donate Now: eBay and PayPal users who discover an eBay Giving Works organization they care about can give as little as $1 right away without buying or selling.

A recent study of eBay shopping behavior, conducted by Columbia Business School, verified the philanthropic instincts of the eBay community, indicating that eBay buyers are actually willing to pay more to do good. Results showed that an eBay Giving Works item advertising that 10% of proceeds will be given to charity is nearly 20% more likely to sell than its non-charity equivalent, and at a 2% higher price.

“The eBay community has proven time and again that small actions, when brought to scale, can have a big impact,” said eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe. “It’s what makes the eBay marketplace so unique, and what enables our community to do good things for causes they believe in. I want to thank every single buyer and seller who connected through eBay and gave back to their communities through eBay Giving Works. Your generosity this year, especially in such a tough economy, isn’t just impressive – it’s inspiring. We’re looking forward to helping you do even more good next year.”

You can read the full press release by visiting the ebayinc.com newsroom.

Fast facts about eBay Giving Works:
• Every minute, over $91 is raised for good causes on eBay
• Eight nonprofits in the U.S. have raised more than $1 million with eBay Giving Works
• The most money raised for charity from a single listing on eBay was $2.1 million in 2008, for a power lunch with Warren Buffett benefiting the Glide Foundation. The same auction in 2009 went for $1.68 million
• Kim Kardashian, a Top Rated eBay seller and avid eBay Giving Works supporter, has raised more than $47,700 for charity through the sale of her own clothing; she has raised $26,000 in 2009 alone
• In November and December of 2009, eBay Inc. matched $230,000 in funds that were committed via Give at Checkout