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eBay Community Gives Record $50 Million to Nonprofits in 2009

eBay Community Gives Record $50 Million to Nonprofits in 2009

Business Wire

December 21, 2009

In a year that brought decreases in consumer spending globally, eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY) buyers and sellers rallied to raise a record $50 million for U.S. and U.K. nonprofit organizations so far in 2009. eBay Giving Works, eBay’s marquee online fundraising program that allows individuals to donate while using eBay, has enabled users to contribute more than $162 million to their favorite causes since 2003. The program, called eBay for Charity in the U.K., has provided a new online fundraising channel to more than 21,000 organizations, from small, community-based parent-teacher associations and animal rescues to nationally recognized nonprofits like Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Oxfam, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “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.”

Top donors like eBay Top Rated Seller Elizabeth Bennett have been able to use the program to donate thousands to causes that they believe in; 10 percent of the final sale price of goods bought on her eBay store, Africa Direct, goes to charity. To date, Bennett has raised nearly $40,000 for charity through the eBay Giving Works program.

By offering an out-of-the box, commerce-focused solution for online fundraising, the program has also provided nonprofit organizations around the world a creative and highly flexible new way to generate funds when charitable giving is at an all-time low. Based on their individual needs, nonprofits can adapt the program to work for their unique business models.

For example, in 2009, the San Francisco chapter of Goodwill Industries raised more than $44,000 per month through the program by selling donated goods online. The Blind Center of Nevada, a small nonprofit out of Las Vegas, developed a job skills training program that refurbishes electronics and resells them on eBay, with 100 percent of the sales going back to the Center. Since 2006, their eBay Giving Works sales have generated more than $1.2 million. Larger, more iconic nonprofits like Oxfam and Susan G. Komen for the Cure have benefitted from millions of dollars in contributions that filter in from thousands of passionate individuals who feel a personal connection with the brands, as well as via high-profile celebrity auctions that can generate thousands of dollars in revenue from a single listing.

“When times get tough, purse strings can get tight, but eBay Giving Works has allowed our donor base to continue to support our promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever by continuing to do the things that they do every day, like shop,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “Every contribution, big or small, assists us in supporting community-based breast health programs as well as groundbreaking research focused on decreasing breast cancer incidence and mortality.”

While funds raised by nonprofits are at an all-time low overall, this year’s eBay Giving Works figures were released amid a year of rapid growth for online fundraising. Online giving is growing at 44 percent per year, seven times faster than offline giving growth.1 Online giving has enabled charities to leverage the power of the everyday “micro-philanthropist” through smaller, more modest, individual 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.

A recent study conducted by Columbia Business School in late 2009 of eBay shopping behavior 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 percent of proceeds will be given to charity is nearly 20 percent more likely to sell than its non-charity equivalent, and at a two percent higher price.

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.

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

About eBay

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, and eBay Classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and our global portfolio of online brands, visit

Courtesy of ©2009 Yellowbrix, Inc.